Walhalla, SC – Adam Richardson Martin pled guilty on February 10, 2017 in Oconee General Sessions Court to charges from both Oconee and Anderson Counties. The Honorable Scott Sprouse sentenced Martin to 25 years suspended to service of 15 years followed by 5 years of probation for 2 counts of Armed Robbery and 2 counts of Kidnapping for the Oconee County charges. On the Anderson County charges he was sentenced to 3 years for failure to stop for a blue light and 10 years for discharging a firearm into a vehicle. 

In March of 2015, a couple living in West Union, SC contacted Martin, who had previously done work for them, to do yard work. When he arrived he told them he needed to speak to them inside. Once inside, Martin told them that they were good people and that he was unstable. The Defendant then pulled out a gun.  He demanded cash and jewelry, following the victims around the house at gunpoint.  Martin then fled the home.  Law enforcement was called and responded immediately. The victims identified Martin through a photo array lineup. 

The Defendant was subsequently spotted by law enforcement in Anderson County.  He was chased through Anderson, Greenville and Laurens counties by law enforcement where speeds reached over 100 miles per hour. While in Anderson County on Interstate 85, Martin shot at other vehicles and continued to evade law enforcement.  Martin was eventually captured in Laurens County and placed under arrest facing multiple charges there as well. He was sentenced in 2016 for the offenses committed in Laurens County and only recently returned to Oconee County to face charges. 

“Through Adam Martin’s criminal and reckless behavior, he endangered many lives in March 2015.  It is nothing short of a miracle that no lives were lost.  Today’s plea adequately punishes the Defendant and gives the victims in this crime the opportunity to move forward with their lives,” stated Solicitor David Wagner. 

                                                               

 

Anderson, SC – Yesterday, a jury was out for less than half an hour in the case of the State vs. Phillip Walker for the armed robbery of the Family Dollar Store on E. River Street in Anderson in December of 2015. Walker was out of jail on bond and did not appear for trial. The sentence is sealed until Walker has been apprehended. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Mr. Phillip Walker, please contact the Anderson Police Department at 864-260-4444. 

 

On December 16, 2015, Phillip Walker approached the register at the Family Dollar Store to purchase some items using his EBT card. Walker then asked for some cigarettes and after the clerk returned to the register with them, the defendant presented a handgun and told the clerk to give him the money from the register. The clerk complied and Walker exited the store. Once the defendant was outside, the clerk pressed the panic button and the Anderson Police Department responded within minutes. A description of the defendant was disseminated to law enforcement and a search began of the area. Thinking that something strange was going on, a witness who worked in a building close to the Family Dollar had made a photo on her phone of a man walking down the street taking off his jacket and hat and tossing them in the dumpster a short distance from the store. The defendant was arrested shortly thereafter. Walker confessed to the crime in a video interview with law enforcement. Walker had previous robbery convictions in North Carolina.  

 

“Once Mr. Walker has been located and arrested, the sentence of the court will be unsealed,” stated Assistant Solicitor Catherine Huey. “We will all feel much safer once he has been apprehended.”  

 

 

     Phillip Wesley Walker


 

 


Anderson, SC – On the day before jury selection was scheduled to begin, 63 year old Jasper Ashley pled guilty to Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor, 2nd Degree. The Honorable Cordell Maddox sentenced Ashley to 15 years suspended to 10 years in prison with 5 years of probation to follow.  

 

In May of 2015, Belton police officers were called to a residence for a complaint that a 9 year old female had reported having been sexually assaulted. The child was interviewed at Foothills Child Advocacy Center where she stated that the defendant had performed oral sex on her on several occasions between March 2014 and April 2015 when the child was between 8 and 9 years old. A warrant was subsequently issued and the defendant was arrested on May 24, 2015. 

 

“No one should be forced or intimidated into performing or having sexual acts performed on them, but it is especially egregious when the victim is a child,” stated Assistant Solicitor Kristin Reeves. “This young lady has been truly brave throughout the whole judicial process. Hopefully, knowing Jasper Ashley is in prison and with the continued support of her family and counselors she can now feel the security that children deserve and have the ability to put this in the past.”

Walhalla, SC – Jacob Daniel Drotning was found guilty today by an Oconee County jury for the attempted murder of his wife in 2014 as well as other charges. The Honorable Scott Sprouse sentenced Drotning to 30 years for Attempted Murder and 20 years for Arson, which are to be served consecutively, and also 10 years for Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature and 5 years for Malicious Injury to Property, both of which are to be served concurrently with the other two charges.  

 

On May 16, 2014, a motorist called 911 after being stopped on Utica Street in Seneca by a man shouting that his house was on fire. When Seneca Fire Department arrived, they found the victim, Catherine Cook, laying on the porch with extensive burns to her body. She told first responders that her husband lit her on fire and she did not know why. Drotning stated that he tried to start the grill with gasoline and it blew up on his wife. Examination of the grill revealed that the grill had not been used and was not involved in the fire. Ms. Cook was subsequently airlifted to Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, GA. Once at the hospital, the victim responded to questions from the nursing staff which indicated that Drotning was responsible for the burns.  

 

The crime scene was processed by Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and subsequently analyzed by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Special Agent Daren Vaughn testified that at least four separate fires had been set in the house and smoke detectors had been ripped from the ceiling. Investigators also found a gas can tossed into the hallway.  

 

“Catherine “Katie” Cook is an amazing young woman,” stated Solicitor Chrissy Adams. “During the last two years, she has endured 49 surgeries to overcome the injuries that she sustained at the hands of Jacob Drotning. Although she will carry the scars of these injuries for the rest of her life, her courage and will to survive has brought us to this courtroom today. Jacob Drotning will now see the justice that Katie has waited for. As we mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, we also celebrate those, such as Katie Cook who have survived.” 

 

 

OCTOBER IS NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  

AWARENESS MONTH