Hartsville store owner guilty of insurance fraud
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) - A jury has found a Hartsville store owner guilty of faking an assault and setting fire to her own store to get insurance money.
The Morning News of Florence reports a judge sentenced 47-year-old Claudette Hulsey to three years in prison after the verdicts were read Saturday. Hulsey was charged with insurance fraud, third-degree arson and a false police report. She faced up to 20 years in prison.
Hulsey told police two men broke into her children's clothing store in Hartsville in January 2011, choked her unconscious and sexually assaulted her before setting the store on fire.
But several law enforcement officers testified during the weeklong trial in Darlington County that Hulsey's story changed several times and didn't make sense.
No deaths reported during Grand Stand biker week
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Authorities are reporting few problems with the Spring Harley-Davidson motorcycle Rally along the Grand Strand.
Troopers say no bikers have been killed so far during the weeklong event, but they warn this weekend is usually the busiest time for the rally.
The Highway Patrol and local agencies have increased enforcement. Horry County Police Sgt. Jeff Benton says his officers have seen an increase in alcohol violations this year.
The Harley-Davidson rally is just the start of the motorcycle season at the beach. Next week is the Atlantic Beach Bike Fest during Memorial Day weekend.
SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA
Largest Spoleto season to unfold next week in SC
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Spoleto Festival USA this season will be the largest ever, offering 160 performances by 45 artists and ensembles.
The internationally known arts festival founded in Charleston by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti begins Friday and runs through June 9.
Some of the performances will be staged at a venue that is new to Spoleto, the College of Charleston's TD Arena.
Events vary from a performance of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Tom Morris and the Handspring Puppet Company to a production of "Oedipus" by the Nottingham Theatre.
Then there is "The Intergalactic Nemesis," which the festival describes as a live-action graphic novel. Original comic book drawings are projected on a two-story screen while actors voice parts to accompanying sound effects.
Appeals Court OKs suit to get back gambling losses
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A lawyer says a state Court of Appeals ruling clears the way for gamblers to sue for money they lose by playing illegal gambling machines.
The court ruled Lauren Proctor could go forward with her lawsuit against two Columbia restaurants where she lost nearly $700,000 from 1999 to 2005. The judges say state law allows people to get back money they gambled away to discourage businesses from keeping illegal machines.
Proctor's lawyer Pete Strom says he expects a number of lawsuits to follow the ruling. An attorney for the restaurants says they are considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Proctor stole nearly $700,000 to pay her gambling debts. If she wins her lawsuit against the restaurants, Strom says the money would go to paying back what she stole.
Medical examiner testimony key in Columbia trial
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A medical examiner in the trial of a Columbia man charged with killing his wife and his colleague in a sports gambling ring says the gun in 1 of the victim's hands was likely planted after he died.
Dr. Bradley Marcus said Friday that Brian Capnerhurst's left arm was broken with 1 of the first shots fired at him, and the blow sent him falling backward, which would have forced him to let go of anything he was holding.
That point is critical because Brett Parker's attorney said he killed Capnerhurst in self-defense after Capnerhurst shot Parker's wife in their suburban Columbia home in April 2012.
Parker's attorney suggested the gun could have stayed in Capnerhurst's hand because of spasms that caused his grip to stay firm as he died
Gilbert man dies plowing field near Lancaster
LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) - A 72-year-old man from Gilbert has died after he was crushed by is tractor after he plowed a field in Lancaster County.
Coroner Mike Morris told The Herald of Rock Hill that James Staehr was alone Friday afternoon when he was crushed.
Morris says Staehr was trying to load the tractor on to a trailer when it slipped off and pinned him underneath.
The coroner says the tractor was still attached to the plow, and likely was too heavy in the back, causing it to fall over.
Ex-Horry County officer fined for harassing wife
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - A former Horry County police officer has been ordered to pay a $500 fine for harassing his estranged wife.
Prosecutors say 42-year-old Charles McLendon pleaded guilty Thursday to misconduct in office. He was sentenced to a year in prison, but that sentence was suspended when he paid a $500 fine.
Authorities say McLendon became angry in December when he saw a man's car at his wife's house. After his estranged wife drove away, McLendon followed her, turning on his blue lights and threatening her over the cruiser's loudspeaker.
When the woman returned to her house, investigators say she found McLendon inside with her bedroom ransacked.
McLendon was fired from the Horry County Police after his arrest.
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