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Drive-by shooting triggers second attack

Also, Elgin drug dealer hit with federal indictment

Posted: March 3, 2011 5:14 p.m.
Updated: March 4, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Two Camden men are behind bars, one charged with attempted murder, in connection with two shooting incidents Tuesday night, including a drive-by shooting in Camden.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Terrence Maurice Harrell, 25, of Scott Street, Camden, has been charged with attempted murder, discharge of a firearm into a dwelling, trafficking crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute (PWID) crack cocaine and PWID marijuana.

Matthews said Harrell is accused of driving by a residence on Kings Avenue in Camden just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and firing at least nine rounds from a .40 caliber pistol, one of which struck a Camden man in the leg.

“Harrell shot (the victim) over a drug situation. They’d had a major disagreement,” said Matthews.

Harrell, whom Matthews described as a convicted felon, fled the scene only to become involved in a second shooting at a home in Cassatt’s Shepherd Acres community.

“This time, Harrell was the intended victim, but he was not injured,” said Matthews, adding that both shootings were drug related. “He’d driven to his girlfriend’s house and was in her place when some guys connected to the victim showed up and shot up the place. They were gone when we got there, but Harrell was still there with his girlfriend and another man.”

The second man arrested was Antuane Demetrius Smith, 21, of Wateree Boulevard, Camden. He has been charged with PWID marijuana and PWID crack cocaine, said Matthews.

“We also found evidence there that tied Harrell into the earlier shooting,” Matthews said, adding that more arrests are expected.

According to the first of two Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) reports, Deputy Andy Watts was at the corner of Old River Road and Chesnut Ferry Extension in Camden around 8:40 p.m. Tuesday when he spotted a dark blue, late model Cadillac with tinted windows. He saw the Cadillac make a left turn onto Old River Road with a white Lexus SUV traveling close behind.

Watts followed for a short time, but then turned on Kings Avenue and returned to Old River Road, not seeing either vehicle again.

“A few seconds later, I was traveling back down Kings Avenue when a lady … began yelling for me,” Watts wrote in the report. “Once I stopped, she came out to my car and stated that a dark blue Cadillac had just (driven) through and began shooting a pistol out the window.”

The woman told Watts the shooter fired at her house. Soon, others were coming up to the deputy saying that someone had been shot across from the Kings Avenue home. Shortly after that, Watts was notified that a 22-year-old Camden man had been dropped off at KershawHealth’s emergency department with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Watts secured the scene while another officer went to the hospital to talk with the victim. Meanwhile, the woman who flagged down Watts found a bullet in her house, which was given to Capt. Ed Corey, head of KCSO investigations. Some .40 caliber bullet casings were found along Kings Avenue and a cell phone was located where witnesses said the victim had been shot.

According to Watts’ report, deputies at the hospital said the victim was uncooperative. After repeated, unsuccessful attempts to get the victim to assist in the investigation of his own shooting, deputies left the hospital.

About two hours later, KCSO Cpl. William West was dispatched to Dogwood Lane in Shepherd Acres in reference to shots being fired. Dispatchers said two vehicles were on the scene, a Mazda and Toyota. When deputies arrived, they found the two vehicles, with Harrell and Smith inside the Mazda and a female subject in the Toyota.

West wrote in his report that another deputy told him when he arrived, Smith got out of the Mazda and walked toward the Toyota. While that deputy handled Harrell, West ordered Smith out of the Mazda and frisked him. West reported they found a small bag of marijuana with a dime-sized bag inside of that on the ground where Harrell was standing. When Smith got out, West wrote, he left the driver’s side door open allowing deputies to see in plain view a clear tube containing crack cocaine and another bag of marijuana with another dime-sized bag inside of that.

At that point, both Harrell and Smith were arrested. The woman in the Toyota said the home was hers and gave consent to search the house and an outbuilding. West reported finding two bullet holes in the front of the house and another in a bedroom.

Inside, deputies found a spent. 40 caliber bullet -- the same type found at the Kings Avenue shooting in Camden. As of Thursday afternoon, no one had been charged in the Shepherd Acres shooting.

A red Mustang at that scene belonging to Harrell was also searched. Deputies found more crack cocaine and marijuana, bringing the total amount of drugs confiscated to 22 grams of crack cocaine and 10 grams of marijuana.

Matthews said he has been told the gun used in the Kings Avenue drive-by shooting is believed to be at the bottom of the Wateree River.

The outbuilding on the woman’s property was also searched and deputies found four long guns: a 20 gauge over and under shotgun, .22 caliber rifle, .410 gauge shotgun and 12 gauge automatic shotgun. All the long guns came back clear, according to West’s report, but were taken for safe keeping.

This is not the first time Harrell has been in trouble with the law.

While Harrell’s run-ins with the KCSO appear to be few, he’s better known at the Camden Police Department.

Chief Joe Floyd said between 2004 and 2009, Harrell was charged in several PWID cases involving both crack cocaine and “ice” or “crank.” Floyd also listed lynching, second degree burglary and assault and battery with intent to kill among the charges Harrell faced during that time period.

According to the Kershaw County 5th Judicial Circuit online public index, Harrell was also once charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, armed robbery and yet more drug charges. In many cases, the charges were dismissed or “disposed” of with no clear indication of why.

Matthews said one of the significant things about the Kings Avenue end of the case is that a dangerous man with a substantial criminal record is off the street.

“I had a woman from that community come to my office and tell me these guys are out there all night long, dealing drugs, gambling. I assured her that from this day forward we would be on this, and we have,” said Matthews.

A bond hearing for Harrell had been scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Matthews said he intended to encourage judicial officers to set a high bond or deny it altogether.

“I intend to use the bully pulpit of the sheriff’s office to have his bond denied,” said Matthews.

He also said that the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office is “on board” with pushing Harrell to trial quickly.

Dixon hit hard

An Elgin man Matthews has described as a “well-known” drug dealer won’t be back on the street for a while, if ever.

Matthews said bond has been revoked for Jamie Lubell Dixon, 33, who was arrested on various drug charges a month ago but walked out of jail on bond hours later. In addition, Matthews said Dixon has now been indicted by a federal grand jury.

“He’s been indicted on multiple drug counts,” said Matthews. “Some of the charges stem from work we did, some from undercover SLED agents.”

Matthews said Dixon could face between five and 40 years in federal prison if convicted.

Dixon’s father, James Dixon, was arrested Feb. 18, charged with possession of stolen goods over $10,000. At the time, Matthews said James Dixon was holding items that had been stolen by various suspects who exchanged the goods with his son for drugs. Matthews noted that most of Jamie Dixon’s previous charges had either been reduced or dismissed, allowing him to rotate out of jail.

Not anymore, said Matthews.

“Whenever we take Jamie off the street, dope dealing in ‘Dixonville’ shuts down,” said Matthews, referring to a neighborhood behind Blaney Elementary School in Elgin.

This time, Matthews said he appeared with Assistant Solicitor Ron Moak at a Feb. 25 bond revocation hearing to say that Dixon was a threat to the community.

“There’s only two ways a judge will revoke bond: if they’re a flight risk or if they’re a danger to the community,” Matthews said. “The judge said Dixon was coming to every bond hearing, so he wasn’t a flight risk. So, we had to show he was a danger to the community.

“We put on a show.”

Matthews said Moak used a slide show presentation to show a judge the number of Dixon’s arrests and the total amount in bonds he’s posted to get out of jail.

“You can tell he deals drugs, because he (always) makes bond,” said Matthews.

More importantly, however, the judge agreed Dixon was violating the terms of his bond.

“The judge said part of the bond requirement was that he not be around drugs, but that, obviously, he had been,” the sheriff said.

Matthews said his narcotics agents talked in court about another aspect of how Dixon has managed to stay out of jail.

“He always had someone with him to claim the drugs,” said Matthews. “This time, we have a written statement from the other person saying they were Jamie’s. If that person recants, we’ll charge him with providing false information to police.”

The bottom line for Elgin residents, said Matthews: Dixon won’t be back out on the street any time soon.

“I asked Ron (Moak) if Jamie had ever spent a night in jail. Ron said no, he hadn’t. Now, he’s going to sit in jail until trial, if not longer,” said Matthews.

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