Pair arrested on murder for hire, drug charges
A man and woman from South Carolina who are wanted in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme and on drug charges were arrested June 21 in Columbia County, law enforcement authorities announced Friday.
John Allen Corson Jr., 53, of Bamberg, S.C., and Shonda Shawn Harbert, 35, of Columbia, were arrested at a Pilot gas station near Interstate 20 in Martinez, Columbia County Sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.
Corson and Harbert were wanted on charges of solicitation to commit a felony, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine within proximity of a school, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and unlawful conduct toward a child, according to an affidavit for their arrest.
Authorities from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Bamberg County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Office were involved in the case. The Columbia County Sheriff's Office assisted in the arrest.
According to the affidavit, on Aug. 29 at a Bamberg home, Harbert and Corson met with a "third party" to arrange the murder of a Lexington, S.C., person for $5,000. The name of the would-be victim and "third party" were blacked out from the publicly released version of the affidavit.
The affidavit also alleges that on Sept. 14, Corson and Harbert had crack cocaine in a hotel room of the Relax Inn in Bamberg, which is within a half-mile of an elementary school, and that the pair intended to distribute the cocaine. The affidavit also states that a minor was present in the hotel room.
Corson and Harbert were extradited to the Bamberg County jail Thursday morning, jail officials said
Molestation case postponed
The case of a Thomson man accused of molesting three Columbia County girls was postponed Monday and will be rescheduled at the request of his newly appointed defense attorney, Jean Colohan.
James Samuel Wiederkehr, 35, is charged with 10 counts of child molestation, two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated child molestation and one count of aggravated sexual battery, according to a Columbia County Superior Court indictment.
The charges stem from acts that authorities say occurred between January 2000 through July 2005 against three girls, two of whom were ages 7 and 8, and a third under the age of 16, according to the indictment.
Superior Court Judge Neal W. Dickert ordered the case be continued to the fall term for scheduling.
The following accounts were taken from reports filed with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office:
Disorderly conduct arrest
A Hephzibah man was arrested Saturday afternoon for disorderly conduct after refusing to comply with a deputy's request to leave a Martinez fast-food restaurant.
Gregory Patterson, 21, of the 2900 block of Ulm Road, was released from the Columbia County Detention Center late Saturday on $275 bond.
Deputies where called at about 1 p.m. to the Checkers on Bobby Jones Expressway by a manager who said Patterson, a former employee, was cursing at and harassing customers and refused to leave when asked.
When a deputy asked Patterson repeatedly to leave, the Hephzibah man uttered vulgarities and refused. When the deputy informed Patterson he was under arrest, Patterson resisted and was doused with pepper spray before being taken into custody.
Grovetown man arrested after chase
A Grovetown man was arrested early Saturday after a high-speed car chase on Interstate 20 that followed a domestic disturbance call from the man's estranged wife.
Michael Arlen Sturgeon, 45, of the 4400 block of Wrightsboro Road, was charged with simple assault, interference with government property, theft by receiving stolen property and nine traffic violations, including fleeing or attempting to elude police, having a suspended license and driving under the influence of alcohol. He was being held Monday on $14,300 bond at the Columbia County Detention Center.
Sturgeon's wife, 31, of the same address, told deputies that her estranged husband, who had been evicted from the residence early this month, had tried to kick in the door of the home at about 2:30 a.m., and that she was in fear of her life.
Sturgeon was spotted by deputies at the intersection of Jimmie Dyess Parkway and Wrightsboro Road, driving a black Ford Mustang that was later found to be a stolen vehicle. When deputies attempted to stop Sturgeon, he led them on a chase on I-20 before crashing into a guard rail along the westbound lanes near mile marker 187.
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