Sentencing hearing set for ex-commissioner
A sentencing hearing has been set next week for a former Columbia County commissioner and Harlem mayor convicted last month of molesting his adopted daughter.
Scott Dean, 42, was found guilty Dec. 16 on two counts of child molestation. His sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 27, according to a listing on Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard’s calendar.
Dean faces five to 20 years for each count, Assistant District Attorney Parks White said.
A jury found him guilty of exposing himself and inappropriately touching his daughter, one of five children Dean and his wife adopted from Guatemala in 2008.
Dean served on the Harlem City Council and more than five years as the city’s mayor before winning a seat to the county commission in July 2008.
Dean was re-elected as the District 4 commissioner in November 2010 despite being accused several weeks earlier of exchanging inappropriate text messages with a married county employee.
He resigned from the commission in February 2011 when he was indicted on the child molestation charges.
Augusta man arrested for theft by conversion
Columbia County authorities Thursday arrested an Augusta man they say accepted money to remodel a Grovetown woman’s kitchen but never finished the work.
Herbert Stanley Whitehead III, 23, of Peavine Court in Augusta, was charged with felony theft by conversion.
He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center the same day as his arrest after posting a $2,600 bond, according to jail records.
A 51-year-old woman told deputies in June that she paid Whitehead to install kitchen cabinets and countertops in her Grovetown home. She paid him $4,500 up front in March, and the woman said Whitehead worked only a few days in the following two months.
Whitehead installed cabinet frames only and didn’t install any shelves, cabinet doors or counter tops.
Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said Whitehead also was wanted on a civil warrant for a similar transaction.
Three recent woods fires are investigated
Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue officials are asking the public for help gathering information about three suspicious fires.
The cause of all three remain under investigation, Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue spokesman Jeremy Wallen said.
“A person started the fires, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily (malicious),” Wallen said. “We’re still not saying arson ... and we don’t have any evidence to that.”
Wallen did say that a large brush fire started at a log pile near Columbia Road on Jan. 14.
It burned about 40 acres and the smoke forced the closure of Columbia Road. The property owner and neighbors denied burning near the pile.
A second fire, reported Jan. 15 on the back side of Millbranch subdivision off Lewiston Road, burned less than an acre. There was no known accidental cause, such as lightning, Wallen said.
Firefighters were called to a third fire about 3:30 a.m. Monday off William Few Parkway. That fire burned more than four acres and came close to nearby homes.
The department investigator said all three of the fires were set, as opposed to starting accidentally.
Anyone with information about the fires should call the department at (706) 863-7745. To report a fire, call 911.
The following accounts were taken from reports from The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. Additional reports are available at www.columbiacountyso.org:
Fight lands Harlem man, 24, in hospital
A Harlem man was hospitalized Monday when his two roommates fought him after they accused him of stealing marijuana.
The 24-year-old said his roommates confronted him in the backyard of their residence on the 900 block of Haverhill Drive, asking why he took marijuana from one of the men’s wallets.
One of the men struck him across the head with a four-foot carpenter’s level, which caused it to shatter. The other man punched him in the face at least twice.
The injured man fell to the ground and was unable to get up for several minutes.
A doctor at McDuffie County Hospital told authorities that the man didn’t have any broken bones, but possibly suffered a concussion.
Evans man arrested for stabbing ex-girlfriend
An Evans man was arrested Monday for stabbing his ex-girlfriend in the leg.
Caleb John Schafner, 26, of the 500 block of Edgecliff Lane, was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.
The 25-year-old woman was stabbed in her upper leg, and said Schafner put the knife in the kitchen sink after he stabbed her.
Her friend, whom she asked to come over, called officers to the home on Edgecliff Lane at about 7:30 p.m. after he found out she had been stabbed.
Deputies found a trail of blood by the front door leading to the living room, where the woman was sitting on the floor.
She was transported to Doctors Hospital.
Schafner was found sitting in a vehicle near the residence and was taken in for questioning. He was being held Thursday at the Columbia County Detention Center without bond.
Man found under bed, resists arrest
A Harlem man was taken into custody Tuesday after authorities, called to his house for a damaged property claim, found him hiding under a bed and resisting arrest.
A 43-year-old woman called deputies to the 900 block of Macks Road in Harlem to report that her 20-year-old son, Cody Shane Lanier Hyman, had damaged her 2004 Ford Taurus by kicking it.
She said Hyman became angry when she refused to give him her cell phone and prescription medication.
The woman also said her gun was missing.
Hyman had left the residence by the time officers arrived. While they were still at the home, Hyman snuck in through the back door into a bedroom.
Deputies found him under a bed, and Hyman refused to come out.
As authorities pulled Hyman from under the bed, he began fighting. Deputies handcuffed him and put him into the patrol car.
On the way to the car, Hyman tried to free himself from the officers’ grasp and appeared disoriented. No gun was found on him.
While en route to the jail, Hyman moved his hands to the front of his body and tried to choke himself with a seat belt.
Hyman was arrested for criminal damage to property and willful obstruction of law enforcement. He was being held Thursday without bond at the Columbia County Detention Center.