Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The Grand Jury has determined there is enough evidence for Eric Ridel to be tried for two felony charges in connection with the death of South Carolina Highway Patrol Sr. Trooper Jonathan W. Parker's death: (1) Murder; (2) Failure to Stop Motor Vehicle When Signaled by Law Enforcement Vehicle Where Death Resulted.

Failure to Stop Resulting in Death is a felony charge that requires imprisonment of not more than 25 years.

Murder in South Carolina is the killing of a person with malice aforethought, express or implied. There are no "degrees". Murder is a felony charge that requires punishment by death, imprisonment for life without possibility of parole, or a minimum term of imprisonment for 30 years. State law sets forth 11 Aggravating Circumstances and 10 Mitigating Circumstances which are used to determine which of the three sentences can be imposed.

The Item

SC Code of Laws

Updated: Ridel entered a plea of "Not Guilty" at the arraignment Thursday, March 2

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Mutt Shots

The Beast is Provoked When its Lair is Disturbed

Thursday, February 23, 2006

February 23, 1945

As Marine Pfc. Bob Hughes sprinted toward the battalion command post, he spotted the U.S. flag rising atop Mount Suribachi.

He stopped and saluted.


Monday's Mutt Shot

'been sleepin' on the job

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


of the every day, long lasting variety:

Doug & Mary Chris

Leroy & Bernice

Led & Mary

Arch & Audrey

In Memory: Spc. Anthony Chad Owens

DILLON - Ronnie and Susan Owens wept over the open coffin of their son, U.S. Army Specialist Anthony Chad Owens, as the younger Owens was given a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart at his funeral Sunday.

Brig. Gen. Philip Voipe, who presented the medals, said that Owens gave the ultimate sacrifice during combat operations to receive the Bronze Star. Owens was awarded with the Purple Heart for wounds he received in the small-arms fight that took his life.

Owens, 21, died Feb. 1, while serving in Iraq.

The Rev. Gary Reeves, of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, eulogized Chad Owens as a "military man" who excelled in his ROTC classes as a high school student and who always wanted to join the Army and get involved.

"He was a man of courage who went and fought valiantly," said Reeves, to a church that was packed to overflowing.

- Continued(includes slideshow)

Say a prayer of thanks and comfort for Spc. Owens' family.

More on The Patriot Guard, also deserving of gratitude.

Welcome Home

Monday's Mutt Shot

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Calendar Girl

One of the girls every GI wanted to come home to during World War II,Jewel Flowers

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In Memory

Colonel James E. Hiteshew

Former POW

Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday Mutt Shot


When trolling at a boat landing named for the Sheriff, 'tis best to do so
only for fish.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Boom, Boom, Boom

Carolina Plaza Implosion

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


A practicing lawyer goes to a strip joint, gets naked, gets thrown out, returns with a gun, fires it, kills a man, flees, brandishes a weapon at law enforcement officers, is shot, and is granted bail at a preliminary hearing.

Thawing Cold Cases

"Job well done, sir!", to Lexington County, South Carolina's one man Cold-Case Fugitive Unit, Sgt. Henry Dukes.

Since October, 2005, under direction of Sgt. Dukes, 117 wanted fugitives have been arrested, 63 wanted fugitives have been located in custody of other jurisdictions, and 438 warrants have been administratively cleared.

Most recently, Donna Marie Vinson (pictured) was captured after an attempt to escape through a trap door in the floor of a closet which was hidden by a rug covered in dog excrement. Vinson owes $21,265.00 in court-ordered child support, and had eluded arrest for three years.

Notable: Sgt. Dukes was responsible for the capture of Johnny Starling Martin, the man who feigned death in order to escape court-ordered child support.