Juror: “We were shocked”

A juror tells 96.3/WGOG NEWS that she and her fellow jurors were shocked when the judge told them their verdict would not be needed.  Phyllis Johnson said the jury had weighed the testimony and other evidence for three weeks and was prepared to award the plaintiffs damages.  And, Johnson said, the damages would have been substantial.  As it is, however, […]

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Courtroom to be transformed

Oconee’s top floor courtroom, the scene of a three-week civil trial that ended Friday, will be transformed Monday morning to accommodate the lawyers and parties for another civil case which could take two weeks to try. Plateau Excavation against Oconee County and others is categorized as “complex” litigation and pairs a contractor against a county, for which the contractor extended […]

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In the end, jury verdict not needed

Most civil lawsuits are settled pre-trial, but the end to a major Oconee County case occurred Friday night practically simultaneous with the jury’s verdict. In the case alleging medical malpractice by a nursing home near Seneca, the verdict was never announced. Instead, at 7:30, plaintiff’s lawyer Gary Poliakoff walked into the courtroom holding a one-page written statement and announcing, “We […]

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Surprise ending to trial

A surprise ending to the Oconee Common Pleas Court trial in Walhalla.  Just as a court officer announced the jury had reached a verdict, a lawyer for the plaintiff said both sides had reached a settlement and there would be no verdict.  The settlement entered on the record is a confidential financial agreement, and parties afterward were saying were very […]

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Three more drug arrests

Three more arrests have been made in the Oconee Sheriff’s Office “Operation Infinity” drug sweep. According to the Sheriff’s Office announcement, the latest to be arrested are Bobby Allen Whitfield, 35, of Walhalla, charged with distribution of marijuana; Richard Wayne Hendricks, 26, of Seneca, charged with distribution of methamphetamine; and Dechane Foster Earle, 23, of Pendleton, distribution of heroin. In […]

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Organizers say fair on as scheduled

“We are on schedule to open at 4 o’clock!”  Stanley Gibson says despite today’s rain, Friday evening activities, all of them, are on schedule at the Foothills Heritage Fair at the fairgrounds on highway 123 near Westminster.  Gibson says, “Looking forward to everybody coming out.”  One piece of advise is leave those Sunday shoes at home and bring a light […]

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Jury hears closing arguments

By early afternoon, the jury was still hearing lawyers’ final arguments in the Oconee County civil trial involving a Seneca nursing home and one of its former residents. Expectations remain that this is the day or night for a verdict to decide the three-week old trial. As one of the lawyers conceded in front of the jury, it has been […]

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Dive team at SC 93 bridges

Further investigation today into the death September 22 of Clemson student Tucker Hipps.  Jimmy Watt, spokesman for the Oconee Sheriff’s Office, says divers and investigators went to area of the South Carolina 93 bridges over the SenecaRiver.  Because of the ongoing investigation, Watt declined to say what, if anything, the divers and investigators may have found in the area where […]

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Final trial stages

Plaintiff, defense, then the plaintiff again.  That’s the order for closing arguments to help cap the three-week Oconee Common Pleas Court trial.  Once the lawyers have their final say, the judge will have the duty to charge the jury on the applicable law.  Then, the jury takes the case to their private meeting room to start on a verdict in […]

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Clemson relaxes suspension of frat events

Clemson University officials have developed an interim policy to allow fraternities to hold social activities beginning one week from today—Friday, October 10, provided they meet certain conditions. Last week, Clemson suspended all social and new-member activities for all Inter-fraternity Council chapters in the wake of multiple incidents involving fraternities this semester, and internal investigation continues into allegations of conduct code […]

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