The Honorable J.C. “Buddy” Nicholson sentenced David Christopher Ellenburg to 10 years suspended to 4 years prison time plus 5 years probation for 4 charges of Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. Ellenburg pled guilty in Oconee County General Sessions Court in July but Judge Nicholson deferred sentencing until a mental evaluation could be done to determine if Ellenburg should be placed on the sexual offender registry. Based on findings from that evaluation, Judge Nicholson ordered that Ellenburg register as a sex offender and receive sex offender treatment, either while incarcerated or when released on probation. Ellenburg was also ordered to have no unsupervised contact with any child 16 years of age or younger and to be on electronic monitoring and house arrest for the first six months after his release.

Clifford Michael Baker pled guilty today in Oconee County General Sessions Court to Murder for the death of 4-year-old Billy Henry in 2004. The Honorable John Few sentenced Baker to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Joyce Veal, the mother of Billy Henry, also pled guilty to Unlawful Conduct Towards a Child with respect to Billy Henry’s death. Judge Few sentenced Veal to 10 years suspended to 6 years prison time and 3 years probation.

John Paul Woodard pled guilty yesterday in Anderson General Sessions Court (to Oconee County Charges) before the Honorable J. C. Nicholson to a string of burglaries during the period of May - August 2005. Breaking into homes, mainly stealing firearms along with other property, some of the burglaries occurred at homes he had been in while working for a local cleaning service. He received a 20 year sentence suspended to 15 years active sentence in prison with no parole eligibility and 5 yrs probation and restitution to all victims. 

Denisona Crisp pled guilty to Murder and Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime today in Anderson County General Sessions Court before the Honorable J. C. Nicholson. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder and five (5) years for the weapons charge. 

In 2001, the defendant was sentenced to death based on the murders of Jeolani Blackwell and Clarence Watson. On January 24, 2005, the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Clarence Watson’s murder based on the inappropriate colloquy between the Judge and the defendant during the guilty plea. Upon review of the evidence, re-interviewing all prospective witnesses and lengthy evaluation of the substantially limited forensic evidence, Solicitor Adams determined that there was insufficient evidence to proceed in an actual capital trial. The lapse in times since the incident has limited the witnesses’ abilities to recall events and to testify in a consistent manner.