Couple charged

Saluda Couple Charged In
Death Of Vulnerable Adult

  A Saluda couple has been charged in the death of a retired United Methodist minister.
  On Thurs., Nov. 2,  the Saluda County Coroner’s Office responded to a call on 320 S. Calhoun Street in Saluda. Upon arrival, they  found 79-year-old James Boyd Chewning dead in a hospital bed where he had been tie wrapped to the bed and obviously neglected and abused.
  After conferring with the Saluda Police Department,  a joint decision was made to call to the specialized Vulnerable Adult Team and the Crime Scene Investigation Unit from SLED to the scene. After many hours of investigation and interrogation by SLED, the Coroner’s office and Saluda Police agreed to turn the prosecution of this case over to SLED.
  Donald Chewning, 51,  (the victim’s adopted son) and Kathy Chewning, 48, (Donald Chewning’s wife) were arrested on charges of abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death.
  According to the arrest report, the victimwas battered, restrained to a bed using zip ties, and rags and duct taope were used to cover the victim’s mouth and eyes.
  Coroner Keith Turner scheduled an autopsy for Friday morning in Newberry. The exact cause of death will be released at a later time.
  The Saluda County Coroner’s Office and Saluda Police Department along with SLED are continuing the investigation.  
  If convicted, the couple could serve up to 30 years. Coroner Keith Turner would like to express his thanks to his team, the Saluda Police Department, Saluda County EMS, Saluda Sheriff’s Office and SLED for a job well done.
  Rev. Chewning retired from the active ministry in 2004. His last appiontment was with the Emory -Nazareth Charge in Saluda County.


Man sentenced to 23 years for
Armed Robbery  in Saluda County

Darquarious Tremaine Fuller, a 23 year old man from Greenwood, pled guilty this week to Armed Robbery and Attempted Murder taking responsibility for his role in robbing the Ridge Spring Convenience Store in Saluda County and shooting the owner of the store.
  Fuller was sentenced to 23 years by Judge William P. Keesley. Both charges are violent and are considered “no parole” offenses.
  Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated, “This case is a reminder of how quickly things can go wrong when a gun is involved.”
  On April 11, 2016, Fuller along with three co-defendants arrived at the Ridge Spring Convenience store and parked in the back. One of the individuals exited the vehicle and went inside of the store first. He walked around the store and his role was to let the others know how many people were inside. As that individual was exiting the store, Fuller and the other two entered wearing hoodies and face masks.
  Fuller walked in pointing the gun at a female store clerk while one of the co-defendants snatched her cell phone from her hands and threw it on the floor. The store clerk was pregnant at the time of the robbery and described pleading with the gunman not to hurt her baby. They ordered the clerk to open the register and one of co-defendants began grabbing the money. The store owner came out and began to comply when Fuller shot him in the thigh. Fortunately, the store owner has recovered from any serious injury. After the owner was shot by Fuller, the three men ran out of the store.
  Former Ridge Spring Police Department Chief Michael Raffield arrived quickly to the scene and assessed what was going on. After determining that the individuals left on foot, he traveled towards the rail road tracks and saw an individual running who then threw an item down. That item was a gray hoodie. The individual was detained and several hundred dollars were recovered from his pocket.
  The incident was captured on surveillance cameras. The individual and the gray hoodie matched the description of the co-defendant who was seen taking money from the register. He admitted his involvement and later identified all of the individuals involved in the armed robbery. All three co-defendants identified Fuller as the shooter.
  “Quick action from law enforcement resulted in this crime being solved and apprehending those involved,” commented Solicitor Hubbard.
  Assistant Solicitor Sutania Radlein and Senior Assistant Solicitor Al Eargle prosecuted the case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.