Silent Witness Ceremony Honored 2017 Victims of Fatal Domestic Violence

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – October 2, 2018 – Attorney General Alan Wilson led participants through the 21st annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence ceremony that was held today on the south steps of the State House in Columbia.

During the solemn ceremony, Attorney General Wilson called the names of 29 women and 11 men from across the state who lost their lives as the result of domestic violence in the previous year.

Victims’ family members, friends, or volunteers carried a life-sized silhouette representing the victim to the State House steps as a bell was rung for each victim.  An additional 41st silhouette represented the potential unknown victims.

“Every year we commemorate the lives that we lost to domestic violence and we hope that, at some point, we won’t have to be here,” said Wilson.

“Unfortunately, this is a cycle of violence that’s gone on for too long in our state and in our nation. We’ve taken steps to strengthen our laws and also to try to prevent this tragic crime. We are seeing some improvements, but we’ve got a long way to go to reach zero,” Wilson said.

Domestic violence survivors, officials and victims’ advocates made special remarks to highlight the problem of violence against women.

A statistical breakdown for each county is available at http://www.scag.gov/criminal-domestic-violence-in-south-carolina.

The attorney general has taken, and continues to take, steps to reduce domestic violence. That includes a 2015 law that has shown a marked improvement in how we handle domestic violence cases. The law provided funding for local solicitors to hire prosecutors to handle domestic violence cases, instead of having to rely on local police and deputies to prosecute those cases against experienced defense attorneys. The law created new tiers of domestic violence within the law, so abusers are now sentenced based on the severity of their crimes instead of just whether they’re first or second or third offenses. It also takes into account aggravating factors like whether any children were in the home and witnessed the abuse. The new law allows victims to get permanent restraining orders against their abusers, instead of temporary ones, and it put new restrictions on abusers’ ability to own guns.

The attorney general will also support bills next year to further reduce domestic violence, like a bill to make victims’ addresses confidential, to make it harder for an abuser or a stalker to find someone. Another bill would create the crime of strangulation, since many domestic abusers strangle their victims.

The Attorney General’s Office has also conducted training in all 46 counties for students and community groups on recognizing abuse, stalking, and dating violence, as well as training for law enforcement, prosecutors, victims’ advocates and judges on how to handle these cases and how to better help victims.

SCAG Video Gallery

 

2017 SILENT WITNESS VICTIMS

 

Billy “Joey” Harris, Jr.

53 years old

Anderson County

On May 2, 2017, Billy “Joey” Harris, Jr. was struck with a vehicle by his live-in girlfriend, Sindy Blanton. Mr. Harris later died from his injuries at AnMed Health Medical Center. Mr. Harris loved racing, cars, fishing and was a business owner. Mr. Harris is survived by his three sons, brothers and grandchildren.

The trial of Ms. Blanton is pending for murder.

 

 Veronica Glover-King

51 years old

Beaufort County

On May 16, 2017, Veronica Glover-King was strangled to death by her husband, Dale King, in the home they shared. Prior to the murder of Mrs. Glover-King, Mr. King was indicted for a domestic violence 3rd degree charge against her. At the time of her death, Mr. King was out on bond for the aforementioned charge.

The trial of Mr. King is pending for murder.

 

Chicoba Crabtree

53 years old

Berkeley County

On March 21, 2017, Chicoba Crabtree was stabbed and killed by Erica Walters. Mr. Crabtree was able to call 911 after being stabbed but was not able to sustain the injuries. Mr. Crabtree was a welder and is survived by his mother and sister.

The trial of Ms. Walters is pending for murder.

 

 Robin Byrne

40 years old

Berkeley County

On November 27, 2017, Robin Byrne was shot multiple times and killed by her husband, Robert Byrne. Those who knew her describe Mrs. Byrne as kind and loving. Mrs. Byrne is survived by her 12-year-old daughter.

Mr. Byrne died by suicide on the same date.

 

Doris Colucci

74 years old

Charleston County

On April 14, 2017, Doris Colucci was shot and killed by her husband, Ivo Colucci, in their family-owned business. While being placed under arrest, Mr. Colucci stated to police his reasons for shooting his wife. Mrs. Colucci is reported to have been diagnosed with dementia.

On October 20, 2017, Mr. Colucci pleaded guilty to wrongful death.

 

Gary Stone

51 years old

Cherokee County

 On November 3, 2017, Gary Stone was strangled and stabbed to death and subsequently dismembered by his live-in girlfriend, Dawn Wilkens, and stepson. Mr. Stone is survived by his parents and siblings.

The trial of Ms. Wilkens is pending for murder and desecration of human remains.

 

 Robert Benson

47 years old

Darlington County

On February 3, 2017, Robert Benson was shot and killed by his live-in girlfriend, Mary Poston, in the home they shared. Mr. Benson was a U.S. Navy veteran and worked in construction post-service. Mr. Benson is survived by his mother, son, brothers, sisters and step-mother.

The trial of Ms. Poston is pending for murder.

 

Suzette Ginther

27 years old

Sumter County

 

 Tony Logan

50 years old

Darlington County

On September 16, 2017, Tony Logan was struck in the head with a blunt object and killed by his wife, Veronica Logan. Mr. Logan was hospitalized until his passing two weeks later.

The trial of Mrs. Logan is pending for murder.

 

Jane Gaddy

51 years old

Fairfield County

On December 28, 2017, Jane Gaddy was shot and killed by her husband Charles Gaddy, Jr. Mrs. Gaddy is described by those who knew her as always having a smile on her face. Mrs. Gaddy is survived by her daughters, siblings and grandchildren.

Mr. Gaddy died by suicide on the same date.

 

Justin Wilson

29 years old

Fairfield County

On May 7, 2017, Justin Wilson was burned to death by his wife, Sharon Coleman. She also took the lives of their two children when she started the fire in the home they shared. Mr. Wilson is survived by his two sons, brothers, maternal grandmother and a host of close relatives.

The trial of Ms. Coleman is pending for three counts of murder and first degree arson.

 

Amanda Robinson-McCall

36 years old

Florence County

On July 16, 2017, Amanda Robinson-McCall was shot multiple times and killed by her husband, George McCall. Mrs. Robinson-McCall was transported to the hospital, where she died from the gunshot injuries. Mrs. Robinson-McCall is survived by her teen daughter.

The trial of Mr. McCall is pending for murder and possessing a weapon during a violent crime.

 

Levader Bright

50 years old

Florence County

On June 16, 2017, Levader Bright was struck in the head with a sharp, blunt object and killed by her husband, James Bright, in the home of her employer, where she was a medical caregiver. Mrs. Bright is survived by her five adult children.

he trial of Mr. Bright is pending for murder.

 

Charles “Chuck” Johnson, III

47 years old

Georgetown County

On January 21, 2017, Charles “Chuck” Johnson, III was stabbed and killed by his live-in girlfriend, Yevette Cooper, during an altercation in their home. Mr. Johnson loved fishing and shrimping. Mr. Johnson is survived by his two children, parents and sister.

The trial of Ms. Cooper is pending for murder.

 

Jessica Hill-Doehner Perry

36 years old

Georgetown County

On September 29, 2017, Mrs. Jessica Hill-Doehner Perry was strangled, beaten and killed by her husband, Eric Perry. Mrs. Hill-Doehner Perry’s body was found on a boat by first responders while responding to arson at their business, where the boat was located. Mrs. Hill-Doehner Perry is survived by her three children, parents and sister.

The trial of Mr. Perry is pending for murder, arson and destruction of human remains.

 

Mildred Hall

85 years old

Greenville County

On January 8, 2017, Mildred Hall was shot and killed by her husband, Joseph Hall. Mrs. Hall was reported to have dementia. Mrs. and Mr. Hall were found at their home, in their vehicle. Mrs. Hall is survived by her adult children.

Mr. Hall died by suicide on the same date.

 

Emily Pace

80 years old

Greenville County

On July 21, 2017, Emily Pace was shot and killed by her husband, Glenn Pace. Reports indicate that Mr. Pace taped a note to the front door to prevent his children from finding the bodies, stating that there was a carbon monoxide risk in the home. Mrs. Pace is survived by her adult children.

Mr. Pace died by suicide on the same date.

 

Candy Rosario

25 years old

Greenville County

On July 14, 2017, Candy Rosario was shot and killed by Ramiro Ramirez, the father of her unborn child. Mr. Ramirez engaged officers in a shootout immediately following the murder of Ms. Rosario.

Mr. Ramirez died by suicide on the same date.

 

Sandra Smith

70 years old

Greenville County

On January 5, 2017, Sandra Smith was shot and killed by her husband, Paul Smith, Sr., in their home. Mrs. Smith is survived by her adult children.

Mr. Smith died by suicide on the same date.

 

Alydia Ling

16 years old

Hampton

On August 31, 2017, Alydia Ling was shot and killed by Johnnie McKnight, the father of her unborn child. Ms. Ling was eight months pregnant at the time of her death. Those who know her describe Ms. Ling as a beautiful, refined and warm-hearted young lady who was very sociable. Her family additionally describes her as charming, with an infectious smile and a gracious spirit.

The trial of Mr. McKnight is pending for two murders and three attempted murders.

 

Dennis Green

35 years old

Horry County

On July 7, 2017, Dennis Green was stabbed and killed by his wife, Donnielle Greene.

The trial of Mrs. Green is pending for murder.

 

Latosha Lewis

31 years old

Horry County

On August 15, 2017, Latosha Lewis was stabbed, shot and killed by her live-in boyfriend, Jakeem Bryant. Her young child, who was present at the time of the incident, survives Ms. Lewis.

The trial of Mr. Bryant is pending for murder.

 

Shemeria Smith

19 years old

Horry County

On May 16, 2017, Shemeria Smith was killed when her former live-in boyfriend, Justin O’Neil Penn, intentionally crashed the vehicle they were driving in. Ms. Smith was kidnapped from Alabama and transported to South Carolina prior to her murder.

The trial of Mr. Penn is pending for kidnapping and murder.

 

Tammy Smith

45 years old

Horry County

On September 11, 2017, Tammy Smith was shot and killed by her husband, Michael Smith. Mrs. Smith loved to go to the beach to find sea shells and camp.  She and her mother shared a special bond and loved to go to yard sales together. Mrs. Smith is survived by her parents, brother and nieces.

Mr. Smith died by suicide on the same date.

 

William Wren

69 years old

Jasper County

On February 22, 2017, William Wren was shot and killed by his wife, Denise Wren. Mr. Wren is survived by his son and daughter.

Mrs. Wren died by suicide on the same date.

 

Lindsey Lee

31 years old

Lexington County

On March 13, 2017, Lindsey Lee suffered a fatal cut to her throat by her husband, Jason Lee. Mrs. Lee was separated from Mr. Lee at the time of her murder. Ms. Lee was a health and fitness fanatic, who won an award for her competitive participation in martial arts. She received her black belt posthumously. Those who knew her described her as someone who was light-hearted, loved life and always had a smile. Mrs. Lee is survived by her parents, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents.

The trial of Mr. Lee for murder and burglary first degree is scheduled for November, 2018.

 

Mildred Arnold

58 years old

Lancaster County

On October 28, 2017, Mildred Arnold was struck by a blunt object and killed by her husband, James Alman. Mrs. Arnold is survived by her two daughters, mother, sisters and brother.

The trial of Mr. Alman is pending for murder.

 

Marquita Mobley

33 years old

Lexington County

On November 19, 2017, Marquita Mobley was shot and killed by her live-in boyfriend, Derrick Sligh. Ms. Mobley is survived by her nephew, for whom she had been a guardian.

The trial of Mr. Sligh is pending for murder.

 

Marissa Reynoso

26 years old

Lexington County

On January 1, 2017, Marissa Reynoso was shot and killed by Jorge Chavez, the father of her children. Mr. Chavez also shot and killed Ms. Reynoso’s sons, aged four and one year old. Ms. Reynoso is survived by her eldest son.

Mr. Chavez died by suicide on the same date.

 

Lester Walters

53 years old

Marion County

On August 13, 2017, Lester Walters was shot and killed by his wife, Donna Walters. Mr. Walters is survived by his adult daughter and son.

The trial of Mrs. Walters is pending for murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

 

Shelby Head

40 years old

Marlboro County

On November 18, 2017, Michael Head reported his wife, Shelby Head, missing. On November 19, 2017, police discovered that her current live-in boyfriend, Raymond Nolan, killed Mrs. Head by strangulation. Mr. Nolan had charges pending for domestic violence in the second degree at the time of Mrs. Head’s death. Mrs. Head is survived by her children and husband.

The trial of Mr. Nolan is pending for murder and destruction of human remains.

 

Garden Magwood

74 years old

Charleston County

 On March 15, 2017, Garden Magwood was shot and killed by her husband, John Magwood, Sr.

The trial of Mr. Magwood is pending for murder.

 

Rebecca Murray-Cawthon

33 years old

Oconee County

On April 18, 2017, Rebecca Murray-Cawthon was reported missing by her husband. It was later discovered that she was shot multiple times and killed in their home by her husband, Lee Cawthon.  For Mrs. Murray-Cawthon, her mother writes, “Beccallon, my child, my heart, my soul, the one who is my beloved. See you in the twilight, between night and dawn.”

Mr. Cawthon pleaded guilty to murder on September 10, 2018.

 

Clatie Dean Stribble

35 years old

Oconee County

On May 3, 2017, Clatie Stribble was strangled to death by her former live-in boyfriend, Clifton Boozer. Ms. Stribble is survived by her four children.

The trial of Mr. Boozer is pending for murder.

 

Sarah Alexander

48 years old

Richland County

On October 26, 2017, Sarah Alexander was shot and killed by her husband, Christopher Alexander.

Mr. Alexander died by suicide on the same date.

 

Kristi Bell

22 years old

Richland County

On September 30, 2017, Kristi Bell was shot and killed by the father of her daughter, Kentrell Kelly. Ms. Bell is survived by her young daughter.

Mr. Kelly died by suicide on the same date.

 

Amanda Peele

39 years old

Richland County

On October 10, 2017, Amanda Peele was strangled to death by her live-in boyfriend, Kenneth Gleaton, who set the house on fire. Firefighters responded to the scene of a residential fire and discovered the death of Ms. Peele. Ms. Peele is survived by her daughter and four sons.

The trial of Mr. Gleaton is pending for murder and arson.

 

Joanne Huston

40 years old

Spartanburg County

On January 9, 2017, Joanne Huston was shot and killed by her husband, Anthony Huston. She is remembered as a hard worker who persevered and became a nurse. At the time of her death, Mrs. Huston was pursuing her Master’s degree. Mrs. Huston is also remembered for her smile and infectious laugh. She is survived by her children, grandchild, siblings and other family members.

The trial of Mr. Huston is pending for murder.

 

Desjuan Lemon

21 years old

Sumter County

On March 14, 2017, Desjuan Lemon was stabbed and killed by his live-in girlfriend, Anastasia Singleton.

The trial of Ms. Singleton is pending for murder.

 

Marandy “Jade” Brandon

25 years old

York County

On September 18, 2017, Marandy “Jade” Brandon was stabbed and killed in her home by her former live-in boyfriend, Jefferson Quinde-Quishpi. Ms. Brandon had a protective order against Mr. Quinde-Quishpi at the time of her death. Ms. Brandon is survived by her three young children.

The trial of Mr. Quinde-Quishpi is pending for murder and possessing a weapon during a violent crime.

 

Attorney General Wilson stresses that all defendants are innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

 

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Domestic violence affects us all.

Domestic violence cuts across gender, race, and ethnicity. People in every socioeconomic status experience this type of violence. Domestic violence victims are all around us: in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and our places of worship.

Therefore, let us have a moment of silence to remember those victims of whom we are unaware.

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