Crime & Courts

Irmo burglary suspects arrested

Irmo police have arrested two suspects in Wednesday's burglary of a New Friarsgate residence, authorities said Monday.

Komla Venyah, 18, who last resided at 101 Serpentine Road in Irmo, and Dorian James Ezell, 17, of 320 Amstar Road in Columbia, both face burglary charges, police said.

A neighbor called police after seeing two men ring the doorbell at 107 Milway Court and then walk around the house when no one answered, police said.

When police arrived, two men fled the house through a broken window.

Ezell was arrested right after the burglary. Venyah was taken into custody shortly before 6 p.m. Monday.

- John Monk

Smoking material leads to house fire

A Columbia resident is without a home after an early-morning fire Monday.

The man's single-story brick house had $50,000 worth of fire damage and is uninhabitable, said city Deputy Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.

The man, who was not identified, is now displaced and receiving aid from the local Red Cross, he said.

The fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking material, such as a cigarette, Jenkins said.

"He learned the hard way," Jenkins said.

"You should not smoke inside a house, but if you do, make sure you put the butt in an ashtray and then put the ashes outside so nothing catches fire," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the man should've called 911 right away but tried to put out the fire himself.

That took valuable time and allowed the fire to grow larger than it might have by the time the firefighters arrived, Jenkins said.

The fire started in a bedroom, he said.

- John Monk

Deputy fired after resisting arrest

GREENVILLE - A sheriff's deputy has been fired after, investigators say, he fought fellow deputies who responded to a disturbance call.

WYFF-TV reported the Greenville County Sheriff's Office fired 43-year-old Deputy Eric McKaig following the disturbance in Simpsonville over the weekend.

Deputies responding to the call found a woman who said she had been in a fight with an acquaintance. She says the man pointed a pistol at her, threw items at her and hit her.

The sheriff's office says McKaig kicked and pushed two deputies as they tried to separate the couple.

McKaig is charged with pointing and presenting a gun, aggravated assault and battery and two counts of assault and battery on a police officer while resisting arrest.

- The Associated Press

Four charged in man's beating death

INDIAN LAND - Four men have been charged with first-degree lynching in the beating death of a 42-year-old man who was struck in the head with a 2-by-4.

Deputies with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said Ronnie Gene Wallace of Charlotte died Christmas night after being attacked in Indian Land.

Maj. David Belk said Sunday deputies arrested 22-year-old Steven Ray Steen on Christmas night. On Saturday, deputies arrested 24-year-old Marty Player, while 28-year-old Evan Starck and 33-year-old Shawn Starck turned themselves in to authorities.

All four are being held in the Lancaster County Detention Center without bond.

- The Associated Press

Wreck causes backup on I-95

SANTEE - Those heading to Florida for football bowl games and New Year's celebrations hit a snag Monday on Interstate 95.

The S.C. Highway Patrol reported a wreck involving several vehicles backed up traffic on the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near Santee about noon.

Traffic was still slow in late afternoon, according to reports from The (Charleston) Post and Courier.

Troopers say the wreck occurred at mile marker 83 near the I-26 interchange.

There was no immediate word on injuries.

- The Associated Press