When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Orangeburg, SC

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If you have been accused and charged with a crime you are in need of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Orangeburg, SC. Having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key in order to protect your freedoms and to ensure that a proper legal defense is built to shield you. Dealing with legal charges in Orangeburg can be a highly distressing ordeal with even minor violations causing considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships and alienation from loved ones.

At Theos Law Firm we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has over 50 years of combined experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases, sexual misconduct offenses and murder cases, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we provide the best opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Service Areas

We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:

  • Homicides
  • Drug Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Misdemeanor Offenses
  • Federal Offenses
  • More

If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Orangeburg where we will educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps in our representation.

At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Orangeburg, SC

Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

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In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum penalty of less than one year are considered misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than one year in prison are generally classified as felonies.

State and Federal Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into three categories: (1) Magistrate or Municipal Level Offenses; (2) General Sessions or Circuit Court State Charges; and, (3) Federal Crimes. Classifications are based on which prosecuting body has jurisdiction to prosecute a particular charge or offense. Regardless of which court your criminal charge is in, the Theos Law Firm has decades of experience protecting individuals from prosecution and assuring that the best possible outcome is achieved.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in South Carolina

Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, and can result in punishment by incarceration up to one year.

Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes which are punishable by incarceration of more than one year. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentences of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release such as losing the right to vote and the right to carry a firearm. These penalties make it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Orangeburg, SC.

Plea Deals in South Carolina

It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved without a trial through a plea deal. In order to assure that the best possible plea deal become available it is crucial for your legal defense to properly build your defense and prepare your case for trial. Deciding to represent yourself or not hiring the best legal team will likely result in exposure to unnecessary penalties, fines and jail time.

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When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Orangeburg, SC?

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At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.

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When You've Been Accused or Charged

Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. Our team of experience criminal defense attorneys can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly. It is critical that you engage an experienced attorney as soon as possible!


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When Investigators or Police Question You

As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Orangeburg, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage. If possible, consult with an attorney before answering any questions or participating in any discussions with law enforcement.


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When Authorities Search Your Residence

In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.


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When You Are Wrongly Accused of Committing a Crime

Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When you are accused or charged with committing a crime that you didn't commit defending yourself may seem straightforward but it can be an arduous task to see to it that the charges are timely resolved. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that anything you say or do can and will be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.


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When Your Child Is Involved

The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you your child has been accused of a crime it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could be destructive to your child's life, your family or result in a exposure to jail time. Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.

Criminal Defense for DUIs in South Carolina

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In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.

If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.

Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Orangeburg and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Orangeburg, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:

  • Was your DUI stop legal? If not, your case could be thrown out.
  • Is there enough probable cause or evidence for an arrest? If there is not, it's possible to file a pre-trial motion for your case to be dismissed.
  • Did officers explain implied consent rights? One of the most common errors police make is failing to take this step.
  • Did the police maintain your BAC and breathalyzer results? Breath testing often comes with inherent weaknesses. This can create doubt in a juror's mind.
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Criminal Defense for Drug Cases in South Carolina

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If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Orangeburg or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Orangeburg drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?"

Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:

  • Simple Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:

  • Drug Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution Near Schools, Parks, or Playgrounds
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Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Orangeburg, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Orangeburg and other cities in South Carolina.

Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Prescription Pain Killers
  • Fentanyl
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Can I be Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes." Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.

Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina

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If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.

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It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Orangeburg, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.

Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:

  • Age of Victim
  • Severity of Injuries Sustained
  • Size and Weight of Accused vs. Size and Weight of Victim
  • Whether or Not the Victim Presses Charges
  • Whether or Not Weapons Were Involved
  • Whether or Not the Victim's Privates Were Touched

Understanding the Degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Third Degree

Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Second Degree

Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

First Degree

Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent," and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.

Everyone Deserves a Reliable Criminal Defense Attorney in Orangeburg, SC

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At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.

That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:

  • Thorough Knowledge of South Carolina Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Seasoned Legal Representation in the Courtroom
  • Years of Experience Structuring Plea bargains
  • Ability to Identify Due Process Violations
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients & Vigorous Representation
  • Skilled Negotiation Tactics Involved with Bail, Sentencing, Appeals, and More
  • Familiarity with Local Prosecutors

Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.

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Latest News in Orangeburg, SC

New clinic brings health care to South Carolina’s underserved Orangeburg-area community

Clemson Rural Health continues to expand health care services to South Carolinians with the opening of a new clinic in Orangeburg. The Clemson Health Clinic at Orangeburg (CHC-O) is the third Clemson-run clinic to open and will provide life-saving services in a largely underserved part of the state, both through fixed health care facilities and mobile health units.Elected and appointed officials who attended a May 25 ribbon-cutting hailed the partnerships that made the clinic a reality and celebrated its opening as transformative....

Clemson Rural Health continues to expand health care services to South Carolinians with the opening of a new clinic in Orangeburg. The Clemson Health Clinic at Orangeburg (CHC-O) is the third Clemson-run clinic to open and will provide life-saving services in a largely underserved part of the state, both through fixed health care facilities and mobile health units.

Elected and appointed officials who attended a May 25 ribbon-cutting hailed the partnerships that made the clinic a reality and celebrated its opening as transformative.

Clemson Rural Health is part of the Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and an extension of the University’s land-grant mission.

Clemson Rural Health has served the Lowcountry for over a decade through mobile health clinics but was restricted by travel distances from their home base in Walhalla. This new hub clinic, located at 1181 Hutto Street in Orangeburg, will allow Clemson to have a consistent and elevated impact on the health and well-being of Orangeburg, Bamberg, Barnwell and Calhoun counties.

The full-time, fully staffed primary care facility will provide in-person appointments, telehealth and remote patient monitoring along with two mobile health units for outreach into rural counties, and a highly qualified, multidisciplinary team to the community. Led by nurse practitioner, Donna Atkinson, a prominent certified diabetes care and education specialist in the region, the clinic will heavily focus on chronic disease prevention and management.

The May ribbon-cutting event included tours of the brick-and-mortar clinic and its brand-new mobile health units, free blood pressure checks, a healthy cooking demonstration and refreshments.

More information about the future of the CHC-O and Clemson Rural Health’s impact on the state of South Carolina can be found in the 2022 Fiscal Year Impact Report.

The Clemson Health Clinic at Orangeburg is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 803-516-4227. Learn more at clemsonruralhealth.org.

More information about the future of the CHC-W and Clemson Rural Health’s impact on the state of South Carolina can be found in the 2022 Fiscal Year Impact Report.

Orangeburg County gears up for Hurricane Idalia

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - As the Midlands begins to prepare for Hurricane Idalia, Orangeburg County officials are advising people living in the area to prepare for the worst.The First Alert Weather team says Orangeburg County can see up to three to six inches of rain along with strong wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour between Wednesday and Thursday.Many roads in the City of Orangeburg and the county are known to flood. Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young says that the county is putting the pieces together to be read...

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - As the Midlands begins to prepare for Hurricane Idalia, Orangeburg County officials are advising people living in the area to prepare for the worst.

The First Alert Weather team says Orangeburg County can see up to three to six inches of rain along with strong wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour between Wednesday and Thursday.

Many roads in the City of Orangeburg and the county are known to flood. Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young says that the county is putting the pieces together to be ready to go once the storm arrives.

“Orangeburg County is opening up our emergency services operations where we have our people in there staffed. We’re having calls with different groups like the school districts, the city and the county, utility providers, and things of that nature and we’re putting together to make sure that we can have things in place that we need to for the storms,” says Young.

Business Owner Rudy Bonaparte has been a local barber for 20 plus years at 2 da Bone Barbershop and is not looking to slow down once Hurricane Idalia makes impact.

“We’re gonna come in early for the hurricane but we’re not closing. Only how we’re closing is if the lights go off, cause we’re gonna cut hair in rain, sleet, or snow,” said Bonaparte.

Nearby universities such as Claflin University are also taking precautions against the storm by advising students to stay safe and be prepared.

" Here at Claflin University, we are continuously monitoring the storm, said Claflin’s Executive Director of Public Safety Melvin Williams. “We have been since Saturday. We’re participating in all of the emergency management meetings that are being held and we’re providing information to our campus community,” said Claflin University’s

Executive Director of Public Safety Melvin Williams.

Other universities such as South Carolina State University plans to dismiss classes at noon on Wednesday in preparation for the storm.

Harold Taylor also says that the town of Holly Hill is in the process of deploying sandbags for the preparation of the storm as well

People who live in the Town of Holly Hill area can pick up sandbags at the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

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City of Orangeburg plans to break ground on Railroad Corner

Developers and city officials are planning to break ground on a new housing and entertainment development soon to create a new attraction for downtown Orangeburg.The facility will include planned student housing for neighboring South Carolina State and Claflin universities, an art-themed restaurant, a bookstore that highlights Black authors and a new South Carolina Civil Rights Museum.Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said the new development will be the perfect connection between a modern city and its historic past.&ldquo...

Developers and city officials are planning to break ground on a new housing and entertainment development soon to create a new attraction for downtown Orangeburg.

The facility will include planned student housing for neighboring South Carolina State and Claflin universities, an art-themed restaurant, a bookstore that highlights Black authors and a new South Carolina Civil Rights Museum.

Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said the new development will be the perfect connection between a modern city and its historic past.

“This is a way to bring everyone together,” Butler said. “With enhancements such as the pedestrian overpass, businesses and student housing, we will be able to offer something for everyone and … encourage economic development in this area.

“I want our residents to know that we have not forgotten about the promises that the City Council has made to develop Railroad Corner.”

The new development will include two, 120-bed buildings to increase student housing the local universities need immediately.

For example, South Carolina State University’s freshmen class was the largest in a decade and the school faces increased enrollment projections into the future.

The city’s release says the project will create hundreds of full-time jobs in construction, hospitality and other professions.

The project will also allow students to be directly involved in the construction and operation of the development to enhance their education and employment opportunities, the city said.

Orangeburg City Administrator Sidney Evering said he is proud to support the new development.

“The Railroad Corner Development is immensely important to the City of Orangeburg,” Evering said. “The development will not only serve to meet the needs of our community and universities, but it will also pay homage to our past and serve as a catalyst for future development.”

James McQuilla, president of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, said the project will bring new life to downtown Orangeburg in a spot that has been critical to the Black community.

“Railroad Corner was the place where residents and students would hang out,” McQuilla said. “It was the place where people met at the soda shop and people got their hair cut. The new

development will continue that tradition and make our city a place where people can stay and make a difference.”

The project is one of many happening to create a more modern Orangeburg.

The county has demolished the old Palmetto Inn and Suites and Winn Dixie grocery store on Russell Street to build a new courthouse.

The city is renovating the old First Citizens Bank building on Russell and Broughton streets into a new city hall.

In addition, a local non-profit is raising funds to restore and reopen the historic All-Star Bowling Alley.

Mike Glenn with Luna Development and Ron Butler, CEO of HBCU CDAC (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition), are the project developers.

Additionally, Equity Partners of Washington, D.C. will serve as economic development financial advisers to the project. They will oversee the complex financing for the project.

“Railroad Corner offered me a chance to continue my work to redevelop another African American community,” Glenn said. “I have developed similar projects in the Southeast to revitalize other communities, but I am excited about Railroad Corner because of what that site means to Orangeburg.

“It’s an opportunity to respect the past with a project for the future.”

Investigation underway by DHEC regarding unlicensed facility in Orangeburg, South Carolina, officials say

ORANGEBURG, S.C. —The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating an unlicensed facility.(Video above: Evening headlines from WYFF News 4)Officials say on Thursday, DHEC, along with other state and local agencies, began an investigation on three alleged unlicensed community residential care facilities in Orangeburg.According to officials, DHEC staff cited one facility for operating without a license, which is a violation of state s...

ORANGEBURG, S.C. —

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating an unlicensed facility.

(Video above: Evening headlines from WYFF News 4)

Officials say on Thursday, DHEC, along with other state and local agencies, began an investigation on three alleged unlicensed community residential care facilities in Orangeburg.

According to officials, DHEC staff cited one facility for operating without a license, which is a violation of state statutes and regulations.

During the investigation, DHEC discovered that staff at the unlicensed facility were offering room and board and provided personal care for residents, officials say.

According to officials, investigators also found that residents were locked in rooms with no way of exiting without assistance. According to DHEC, that poses a risk in the event of a fire or medical emergency.

DHEC says authorities were able to place the residents of the unlicensed facility into emergency protective custody, and they have since been relocated to appropriate facilities to ensure their safety.

Based on the investigations of the other two facilities, DHEC staff did not find that they were being operated as community residential care facilities, according to officials.

DHEC says individuals living at those facilities were not receiving assistance with day-to-day living, so officials considered these facilities to be apartments.

Officials say the unlicensed facility submitted a plan of correction that was accepted by DHEC’s Bureau of Health Facilities Licensing.

“It is the responsibility of long-term care facilities to operate in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, regulations and permits,” said DHEC’s Director of Health Care Quality, Gwen Thompson. “Our ultimate goal is for all of our state’s long-term care facilities to operate in accordance with these laws and regulations, which exist to establish safe standards for protecting the health of the residents they care for, as well as their staff. If a facility creates a dangerous living condition, we will take immediate and decisive action to protect residents, who are always our top priority.”

99-year-old among five victims discovered in 'deplorable conditions'

“I am deeply disturbed by the deplorable conditions in which we found the victims involved in these heinous crimes against humanity,” said Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Chief Charles Austin, Sr. “I commend Sergeant Deloris Edmunds and the team that worked with her to investigate and uncover the atrocities that were committed against some of our vulnerable citizens whose families entrusted the personal care of their loved ones to the suspects and their trust was betrayed.”ORANGEBURG CO...

“I am deeply disturbed by the deplorable conditions in which we found the victims involved in these heinous crimes against humanity,” said Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Chief Charles Austin, Sr. “I commend Sergeant Deloris Edmunds and the team that worked with her to investigate and uncover the atrocities that were committed against some of our vulnerable citizens whose families entrusted the personal care of their loved ones to the suspects and their trust was betrayed.”

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WACH) — Investigators with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety (ODPS) say five vulnerable adults ranging in age from 52 to 99 were in imminent danger when they were found in heavily soiled undergarments in the back of a Broughton Street barbershop.

During the December 27 investigation, officials say they were told that a man inside a closet room area ate himself to death and passed away on Christmas Eve, according to the incident report.

ODPS officials say bond was set a $30,000 for 40-year-old Shaneima Montgomery of Saint George on January 5 in connection to the crimes.

The Lemon Drive woman was arrested on January 4 and is charged with five counts of neglect and financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Montgomery was allegedly receiving varying payment amounts for the victims' care at the Broughton Street and a location on Lovell Street.

According to an incident report, Montgomery is the owner of Blue Ink Sign Inc (487 Broughton Street) and is registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State as a nonprofit.

The use of the business is listed as administrative management and general management consulting services.

ODPS investigators were conducting a follow up from December 19 when they say the victims were found.

At the time of the initial visit, investigators say they saw a customer get a haircut and a Business and Professional License to Jerry's Professional Barber (967 Russell St., 29115) on the wall.

According to the incident report the victims were identified as a 99-year-old Black female, a 52-year-old Black female, an 80-year-old white male, 63-year-old white male, 73-year-old white male.

The door of one of the victims was locked from the outside preventing them to leave the room and a box of used needles were found on the floor of another victim.

The incident reports also states:

These are just some of the reasons this building is deemed unsafe for the vulnerable adults; however, there are many more, the incident report states.

All the victims were taken to MUSC Health Orangeburg for treatment.

The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety is still investigating the case.

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