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Pickrell’s defense team files notice of appeal

Other cases updated

Posted: June 21, 2018 4:54 p.m.
Updated: June 22, 2018 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Gregg Pickrell

As expected, attorneys representing convicted murderer Gregg Pickrell filed a notice of appeal Friday afternoon, exactly hitting a 10-day deadline to do so after she was found guilty for fatally shooting Robert L. Demary in September 2014. Pickrell’s lead defense attorney, John Delgado, filed the notice.

The jury found Pickrell guilty of murder following a six-day trial conducted during a two-week period as an extended term of court. Kershaw County deputies arrested Pickrell on Sept. 12, 2014, the day after she shot Demary once in the back, killing him. Johnny Fellers, the coroner at the time, reported that Demory bled to death from a laceration to his heart, lung and aorta.

During this month’s trial, Delgado and co-counsel Aimee Zmorczek argued Pickrell’s actions were self-defense, claiming she had been a victim of abuse by Delmary during their entire six-year relationship. They also claimed Delmary was lunging at Pickrell at the time.

The 5th Circuit Solicitor’s office, led in court by Assistant Solicitor Curtis Pauling, however, pointed out that Demary’s fatal gunshot wound was to the back, which meant he could not have been lunging at Pickrell. Ultimately, the jury sided with solicitors and handed down its guilty verdict. Judge William A. McKinnon sentenced Pickrell, 65, to 35 years in prison, to be served day-for-day and without the possibility of parole.

That means Pickrell will be 100 years old when she finishes her sentence.

Following the verdict and sentence, Zmorczek indicated she and Delgado would file an appeal on Pickrell’s behalf, based on the self-defense claim due to Demary’s alleged abuse.

Men caught on deer cam plead guilty

Two men caught on a deer cam in September 2017 while burglarizing a home pleaded guilty on June 14 to several charges against them.

Shondale Ingham, 35, of Dalzell, pleaded guilty to four counts of non-violent second-degree burglary. A judge sentenced Ingham to five years in prison, suspended with five years of probation and credited with 260 days. The judge also ordered Ingham to pay restitution, undergo substance abuse counseling and random drug/alcohol testing.

Sandy Joseph Tarte, 48, who lived with Ingham, pleaded guilty to one charge of violent second-degree burglary and three counts of non-violent second-degree burglary. A judge sentenced Tarte to 10 years in prison, with five years to be served and the balance of the sentence suspended upon five years of probation, with the same credit of time served as Ingham. He, too, must pay restitution and undergo substance abuse counseling and random drug/alcohol tests.

One charge each of criminal conspiracy and two charges each of non-violent second-degree burglary were dropped against both men.

County deputies arrested Ingham and Tarte on Sept. 28, 2017, following a series of burglaries at residences on the Camden side of Lake Wateree. One homeowner had set out deer cameras around their residence, one of which captured images of Ingham and Tarte breaking into their residence and stealing electronics. Several of the better photographs were placed on Facebook, leading a Sumter County law enforcement officer as well as a private citizen to recognize both men.

Other cases

• Barbara Jean Southerlin, 32, who lists addresses in Elgin and Ridgeway, pleaded guilty on June 14 to one count of making a false statement on a Medicaid assistance application. According to online court records, authorities charged Southerlin in late February. A judge sentenced her to two years in prison, suspended with five years of probation and credited with a single day spent at the county jail. She must also pay $2,500 in restitution and attend vocational rehabilitation or enter the job corps. Meanwhile, Southerlin is still awaiting trial on three charges of unlawful conduct towards a child filed against her in September 2016 after deputies arrested James Wesley McDaniel, 52, on criminal sexual conduct charges. McDaniel is still being held without bond at the county jail on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11 and one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 16. Southerlin is the victim’s mother, She and McDaniel reportedly fled Kershaw County in December 2015 after a complaint was filed involving the allegations against McDaniel. In September 2016, investigators learned they were living in Hendersonville, N.C., and interviewed Southerlin, who told them he could be found back in Lugoff. He was later located living in the woods behind some business off U.S. 1. A judge set Southerlin’s bail at $10,000 for each charge, which was paid by a bonding company in October 2016.

• Derius My’Keyon Toney, 22, of Belmont Drive, Sumter, failed to appear in court on June 15 in connection with three charges filed in 2017. In early July 2017, deputies arrested Toney after he tried to pull a gun on at least one officer at a safety checkpoint at Porter Crossroads and Fort Jackson Road south of I-20. When deputies and troopers finally got Toney under control, they found him in possession of a .25 caliber pistol. They also found 1.7 grams of marijuana in the center console of his vehicle, a half-empty bottle of tequila and more than $1,100 cash. The officers also found four full metal jacket bullets on Toney after taking him to the county jail and found two more in the back seat of the patrol car in which they had transported him. According to online court records, Toney failed to appear on an unlawful carrying of a pistol charge and marijuana possession charge connected with that incident. He also failed to appear on a resisting arrest charge filed on Dec. 11, 2017. It is not clear whether that is a re-filing of a charge from July 2017, or in connection with a new case from December. Toney also requested a jury trial for a charge filed in the July 2017 incident of transporting alcohol in a motor vehicle with a broken seal. No trial date has been set.

• Theus Alpanchino Lawton Gillie, 30, of Sunview Circle Columbia, pleaded guilty on June 14 to the manufacture, distribution, etc., of cocaine base, third or subsequent offense; and distribution of methamphetamine. A judge sentenced Gillie to seven years in prison with credit for 41 days served at the county jail. Kershaw County deputies arrested Gillie and a co-defendant, Devon Deshawn Jamison, 25, at Jamison’s home on the 300 block of Smyrna Road near Elgin on the morning of Oct. 17, 2017, after monitoring alleged narcotic trafficking in the area during a one-month period. Deputies seized 6.4 ounces of meth, 2.7 ounces of crack cocaine, 9 grams of cocaine, and 14 ounces of marijuana. Deputies arrested Gillie for possession of, and intent to distribute, meth and crack cocaine. Deputies arrested Jamison for trafficking meth and crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. All charges against Jamison are still pending.

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