Officers use child's phone to contact alleged, suspected abuser

Other Reports: Criminal Sexual Conduct With A Minor Alleged Friday, December 28, 2018, WLBG on-line Denias MallashJuan Jones, age 28 of 590 Phillips Street #13 Clinton was booked into the Laurens County Detention Center Thursday charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor.  The warrant alleges that between the dates of October 22nd and October 23rd 2017 Jones did engage in sexual battery by inserting his fingers into a victim between 14 and 16 years of age and the defendant being older than 18 years of age. Denias MallashJuan Jones remains in the detention center awaiting bond. Kidnapping and Domestic Violence Charges Alleged Friday, December 28, 2018 Joshua Adam Broome, age 33 of 587 Pittmans Landing Drive #30 Cross Hill, SC was booked Thursday into the Laurens County Detention Center charged with kidnapping and domestic violence 1st degree. Warrants allege that on December 15th Broome did unlawfully confine, kidnap or abduct a victim against her will by holding her down, blocking exits by shoving her away and taking her cell phone and not allowing her to call for help without authority to do so. The victim stated that after he passed out she was able to obtain her phone and leave with their 6 month old child. A second warrant alleges that Broome did commit the crime of domestic violence 1st degree by inflicting moderate bodily injury to the victim by throwing the victim on the floor and holding her arms and legs down with force causing multiple bruises to both legs and arms. He also allegedly choked her while on top of her and would not allow her to call for help all in the presence of their 6 month old child. Joshua Adam Broome remains in the detention center awaiting bond. Waterloo Man Booked on Felony DUI Charges Friday, December 28, 2018 Ralph Paul Simmons III age 47 of 156 Fishing Village Rd Waterloo was booked Thursday into the Laurens County Detention Center charged with Felony DUI A warrant alleges that on December 23rd Trooper Webb states that Simmons did commit the crime of Felony DUI felony driving under the influence in which great bodily injury resulted in that he did operate a motor vehicle while under the influence that was involved in a collision which caused great bodily injury to a victim, this occurring on Riverfork Rd. in Laurens County. Ralph Paul Simmons III remains in the detention center awaiting bond. Police Chases in Laurens, Greenville Counties Wednesday, January 2, 2019 Laurens County Deputies yesterday observed a man wanted after he reportedly escaped from another law enforcement agency in a New Year’s Day police chase. Sheriff Don Reynolds stated that the Sheriff’s Office was notified of a vehicle being pursued by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. He indicated that after the Highway Patrol cancelled the pursuit, a deputy observed the suspect vehicle on US Highway 76 in the Princeton Community of Western Laurens County. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver failed to pull over for blue lights. Sheriff Reynolds indicated that a short time after the Sheriff’s police chase entered Greenville County, the fleeing driver lost control and his vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned. The sheriff indicated a person from the car was transported to Hospital in Greenville. Meanwhile, the incident involving the wrecked suspect vehicle was being investigated by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. WYFF4 reports that Greenville County Sheriff’s Lt. Jimmy Bolt indicated one person was trapped in the wreck off US 25 and was severely injured. He indicated another person, a man wearing a red shirt, ran from the wreck. The WYFF4 report indicates the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office received a call just after 2:00 yesterday afternoon from someone who lives in the 10,000-address range of Augusta Road about a suspicious person who matched the description of the man seen running through the woods. Deputies initially thought the homeowner fired a weapon at the person, but it was later determined that the homeowner had fired into the air, according to Lt. Bolt. Deputies, K-9s and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office helicopter searched for the man in the area, but the effort was called off just before 5 p.m. The man reportedly seen running from the wreck in Southern Greenville County was described as 6-feet tall, weighing about 180 pounds, with medium-length hair. Anyone spotting such a person is asked to not approach him, but to call 911.

Ex-substitute teacher arrested for alleged sex lure of a minor


Authorities have identified Michael Bernard Bunner, 66, of 101 Woodrow St., Laurens, and a former District 55 substitute teacher, as a suspect in an alleged attempt to lure a minor for sex.

The victim is 12 years old, a report said.

He was accused of two counts, disseminating material to a minor on Dec. 18. These incidents occurred at Wal-mart and at a Hilldale Avenue location, a report said. 

Officers used the 12-year-old’s phone to arrange a meeting with Bunner, and he was arrested when he showed up for the meeting.

In a Facebook post, Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds said, “This guy is without a doubt a sexual predator of children. There is no place in our society for such people and I’m glad he is in jail, where he belongs. It’s only by the Grace of God and the courage of the victim’s friends to tell an adult about what was going on that we were able to stop this criminal before he could physically assault the victim.”

The Laurens Police alleged the disseminating offense, and bond was set at $100,000. Bond was denied on a charge filed by the Sheriff’s Office alleging that on Dec. 19, Bunner criminally solicited the victim for sexual activity.

A report said in the Dec. 19 incident, a Ford Elementary school resource officer was made aware by school officials of the obscene material, and special victims officer then arranged a meeting by text message. 

Believing he was texting the child, Bunner allegedly made arrangements to pick up the child from a residence for the purpose of participating in sexual activity, a report said.

After surveillance, Brunner was arrested when he arrived at the meeting site.

It is not suspected at this time that there are other victims, the Sheriff’s Office said. 

In a separate incident, authorities identified Patrick Nathaniel Davis, 35, of Lexington, as the victim in a two-vehicle wreck Dec. 22 on I-26 in Laurens County. Northwest of Clinton, the two vehicles westbound on the interstate ran into each other and ran off the road.

A Chevrolet pick-up driven by a 31-year-old man from Arlen, N.C., with a 34-year-old woman from Roseland, Fla., as a passenger was involved, but both were wearing seatbelts and did not have life-threatening injuries.

A 1994 Toyota driven by the victim went down an embankment, hit a tree and overturned with the driver dying at the scene. Cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma. This wreck occurred about 1:55 a.m. Dec. 22. 

It is the 32nd fatal traffic wreck of the year in Laurens County. It is one of five fatalities on SC roads over the Christmas holiday travel period.

In Laurens County Criminal Court recently, two people charged with Felony DUI with death appeared for bond hearings.

Tara Ann Mahon, 34, of Climbing Rose Court, Fountain Inn, was denied bond a second time in connection with the June 14 death of 18-year-old Wesley Robinson of Laurens.

She was charged with being drunk at the wheel when she ran her vehicle into the back of a tractor Robinson was driving on Hwy 308 near Laurens. A report said records show, she had another DUI charge in February, 2018.

Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. denied bond, and said the matter could be revisited in April. Addy said he could not guarantee that he could keep Mahon from behind the wheel of a vehicle while out on bond.

More than 20 family and friends were in court to support the Robinson family as Mahon arrived for her second bond hearing.

A report said the prosecution is alleging that Mahon was under the influence of meth and marijuana. But her attorney said a defense on her behalf will be Mahon “may have not been impaired by meth, because what was in her system was only 10-15% over the maximum therapeutic dose.”

The attorney said Mahon should not have to sit in jail waiting for an April trial date, meaning that she would have been in jail for almost a year simply on an arrest, not an arrest and conviction.

Three people spoke to the judge in favor of keeping Mahon in jail until her trial date. Addy agreed, and declined to set bond at this time.

Also in criminal court, Jerry Anthony Irby, 60, of 1434 Trinity Church Rd., Laurens, was granted $25,000 bond on a Felony DUI charge from June 9.

He is accused of causing the death of Brittney L. Boyd, of Cross Hill, in a head-on wreck on Hwy 39 near Cold Point. Irby was seriously injured and airlifted to Greenville for treatment.

He is unable to walk or drive, a report said.

In addition to posting $25,000 PR bond, Irby was instructed not to drive, and to maintain a weekly contact with his attorney.


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