Man gets prison for destroying evidence

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A South Carolina man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for helping to destroy evidence in the slaying of a woman on a Georgia Army post.

The office of acting U.S. Attorney David Estes said Thursday that 30-year-old Devin Ryan of Hardeeville, South Carolina, was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in Savannah, Georgia, after he pleaded guilty to using fire in the commission of a federal felony.

Prosecutors say Ryan had confessed to helping Stafon Jamar Davis burn the car of a woman he killed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in July 2018. The victim, 24-year-old Abree Boykin, was found fatally shot in her apartment on Fort Stewart while her husband was deployed with his Army unit to South Korea.

Prosecutors say Davis stole Boykin’s car after he shot her, then enlisted Ryan’s help a few hours later to help him burn the car in a remote area near the Georgia-South Carolina state line.

Davis was sentenced to 60 years in prison in February after he pleaded guilty to premeditated murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Officials: Man tried to break into prison

SPARTANBURG — A man found bleeding from razor wire cuts is accused of trying to break into a South Carolina prison to deliver backpacks full of contraband, authorities said.

Nathaniel Jose Perez, 19, was found Wednesday between an inner and outer fence at the Tyger River Correctional Institution in Enoree, the South Carolina Department of Corrections said. Pieces of his clothes were found stuck in the fence’s razor wire, authorities said.

He cut a hole in the exterior fence to drop off the illicit goods for inmates in exchange for money, authorities said. They said he had four backpacks that held marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, cellphones and other items.

WSPA-TV reports that Perez was charged with trespassing onto a correctional facility, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and attempting to furnish prisoners with contraband.

Proposal would bar employers from requiring vaccine

COLUMBIA — South Carolina lawmakers are considering a proposal to prevent employers from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for workers.

The resolution passed by the Senate Medical Affairs committee Wednesday states that employers can’t punish or fire their workers for refusing to get the shots.

The proposal makes some exceptions for hospitals and other employers working with populations who are especially vulnerable to the virus.

Employers could still require quarantines for workers exposed to COVID-19 and provide incentives for employees to get the vaccine.

The proposal now heads to the full Senate for a vote. Senators already passed a separate bill that would prevent lawsuits against businesses and other groups by people who contract COVID-19 as long as federal and state health guidelines were being followed.

Senate OKs five-day school for all by April 12

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Senate unanimously passed a proposal that would require all schools to provide in-person classes five days a week starting as soon as April 12.

The proposal passed Wednesday would also require schools provide five day a week classes next school year too.

“There is significant support across party lines to get children back in school as soon as possible. All of us recognize the significant loss of the children not being in school,” said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield.

The proposal would also ban districts from making teachers give instruction both virtually and in person unless there are “extreme and unavoidable circumstances” and the district would then have to pay the teacher more.

Fifty-four of South Carolina’s 79 traditional school districts are back to five days of in-person classes. All but six districts plan to offer them by the April 12 deadline in the proposal, according to the state Education Department.

Only the two school districts in Hampton County have no plans to return students full time to the classroom, the agency said.

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