PRESS RELEASES – 2016
ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT CAPTURED
SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
A string of armed robberies covering multiple jurisdictions on April 19th of this year came to a close on September 1st when FBI Task Force Agents arrested James Lamonte Anderson, 23, at his job at the Dollar Tree Store in Ft. Lauderdale FL after a warrant was issued by the Ridgeland Police Department.
Anderson’s charges stemmed from the early morning hours of April 19th 2016 when he was traveling South on I-95 from Laurinburg NC to his home in Ft. Lauderdale FL and stopped at the EZ Stop IV Station at 80 Blue Heron Drive in Ridgeland at 3:58 a.m. where he held the on duty clerk at gunpoint demanding money after parking his car between the Burger King Restaurant and Rite Aid Pharmacy located next door. He then continued traveling South where he executed another robbery in the same fashion at the Octane Station at 18226 Whyte Hardee Boulevard in Hardeeville SC at 5:38 a.m. Anderson next stopped in the state of Georgia where he conducted two back to back robberies in Pooler at a store at 50 Tanger Outlets Boulevard at 6:15 a.m. and another at 231 Highway 80 East at 6:46 a.m. The next incident occurred at 7:20 a.m. at a Shell station at 8545 Ford Avenue in Richmond Hill and the final one at a BP station at 1834 GA Highway 57 in Townsend at 8:02 a.m.
Investigators from each of the 5 jurisdictions immediately began attempting to identify the suspect through surveillance video as the FBI was notified who launched their own investigation. A cigarette butt collected by RPD Investigators at the site of the Ridgeland robbery was submitted to the Beaufort County Forensics Laboratory for DNA analysis which ultimately returned in August with a match from a 2011 burglary case in North Carolina positively identifying Anderson as the person responsible for the SC/GA string of robberies. He is currently being held at the Paul Rein Detention Facility in Pompano Beach FL pending extradition to South Carolina.
FLORIDA MAN CHARGED IN RIDGELAND FATAL COLLISION
JUNE 15, 2016
Two arrest warrants have been issued against Lanard Rachawn Wright, 40 of Jacksonville FL, charging him with the deaths of Susan Elaine Doddridge, 53, and her Father Jerry Charles Soper, 82 both of Yorktown VA. following a motor vehicle collision on May 2nd 2016.
Both victims were inside of their silver 2009 Chevy Malibu on I-95 North around the 18 mile marker waiting for stopped traffic to begin moving stemming from inclement weather when their vehicle, as well as a black Toyota Venza, were struck from behind by a 2013 Volvo tractor trailer being operated by Lanard Wright. Susan Doddridge was transported to Coastal Carolina Medical Center in Hardeeville where she was pronounced dead upon her arrival as her Father Jerry Soper was taken to Savannah Memorial Hospital where he too succumbed to his injuries. His wife, who was a third passenger inside of the Malibu, remains hospitalized in grave condition. Evidence gathered at the scene as well as that collected from Wright’s onboard data recorder or “black box” by the South Carolina Highway Patrol Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team was presented to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office resulting in warrants being issued for his, (Wright’s), arrest under two counts of reckless vehicular homicide.
MURDER SUSPECT CHARGED
JUNE 8, 2016
Richard Passio Jr., 37, was placed under arrest at the Ridgeland Police Department on June 7th and charged with the June 3rd shooting death of his wife Michelle L. Passio, 33, at their home on East Main Street in Ridgeland.
Officers responded to the residence at 7915 East Main Street just before 6 a.m. Friday morning after a 911 call was received from Richard Passio Jr. of his wife being unresponsive following a series of gunshots. Upon arrival the female victim was found lying on a couch in the living room area having suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Evidence collected throughout the following 5 days was presented to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office resulting in a warrant being issued for Richard Passio Jr’s arrest under the charge of murder. He is currently being held in the Jasper County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.
TOWN PAYS RESPECTS TO FALLEN OFFICERS
MAY 15, 2016
In 1962 President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which it falls, (May 10th to May 16th 2015), as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress, this week pays special recognition to those Law Enforcement Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Click here to view the full roll call of the 273 fallen Heroes added to the Memorial year in 2015.
MURDER SUSPECTS CHARGED
MAY 4, 2016
Eric Darien Jr. and Aneisha Young
The Ridgeland Police Department has issued two arrest warrants against Eric Malik Darien Jr., 20 of Pineland SC, and Aneisha Shaire Young, 21 of Pineland SC, under the charge of murder stemming from the April 30th shooting death of Devante Quentin Freeman, 23 of Ridgeland SC, on East Adams Street. If you have any information on the whereabouts of the suspects pictured here or any information that may be helpful to the ongoing investigation you are urged to contact Lieutenant Litchfield at 843-726-7509 or Sergeant McIntosh at 843-321-0780.
BURGLARY SUSPECT CAPTURED
APRIL 7, 2016
Dondre Fields and Derrick Edwards
Ridgeland Officers and Jasper County Deputies arrested Dondré Leonard Fields, 25, and Derrick Marquell Edwards, 22, at approximately 1:30 this morning in reference to outstanding warrants acting on a tip that they were inside of a residence at 980 East Wilson Street. Fields was listed as a wanted person by the Sheriff’s Office for a General Sessions felony failure to appear warrant and the Ridgeland Police Department for outstanding kidnapping and first degree burglary charges stemming from a November 9th 2015 incident at the Carolina Lodge Motel at 8260 East Main Street where he used a dumbbell to force entry into the door of the Manager’s home at 5:30 a.m. Fields then held the homeowner at gunpoint demanding money before tearing the telephone from the wall in an effort to prevent the victims from calling for help and then fled the area on foot. Surveillance video and other evidence collected at the scene and surrounding areas ultimately identified Dondré Fields as the person who committed the crimes at which time 2 warrants were issued for his arrest. His home at 980 East Wilson Street was searched with the homeowner’s consent in late November following the warrants being issued and the persons residing there were made aware that he was a wanted fugitive in reference to the recent burglary.
Derrick Edwards’ charges stemmed from a July 5th 2014 driver safety checkpoint at the intersection of Smith’s Crossing and Mitchellville Road where he was arrested and charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of a stolen handgun. He then failed to appear in Ridgeland Municipal Court to answer to the marijuana charge on August 25th 2014 where he was found guilty during a trial in absence and a warrant was issued for his arrest. A second warrant stemmed from a January 12th 2016 traffic stop on Highway 462 where he was arrested and charged for driving under suspension and simple possession of marijuana which he again failed to answer to in Ridgeland Municipal Court on February 1st resulting in a guilty verdict during a trial in absence and a warrant being issued for his arrest.
RIDGELAND MAN CONVICTED OF MURDER
JANUARY 14, 2016
A jury has convicted Billy Phillips, 42 of Ridgeland SC, of the May 18th 2013 murder of 24 year old Darius Dominique Woods at a residence at 1457 East Adams Street. Ridgeland Officers responded to the home at approximately 10:43 p.m. that night after friends of the victim found him lying on the living room floor unresponsive having suffered 2 apparent gunshot wounds. Ridgeland Investigators and SLED Crime Scene Personnel collected numerous pieces of evidence from the scene and conducted several interviews over the course of the following weeks ultimately leading to Phillips being identified as the primary suspect. Shortly after being initially questioned by Investigators Phillips fled South Carolina but was captured by the U.S. Marshals in California on August 1st 2013 serving an outstanding federal probation violation warrant stemming from a previous felony conviction. He was then transferred to the Estill Federal Correctional Institution in South Carolina where he was ultimately charged with Darius Woods’ murder on May 12th 2014. Phillip’s trial began on January 12th 2016 and concluded on January 14th where it took a jury 3 hours to find him guilty of murder for which he received a sentence of 40 years and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime for which he received an additional 5 years. The trial was presided over by The Honorable Michael G. Nettles and was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Mary Jones. The defendant was represented by Attorney Steve Plexico with the Jasper County Public Defender’s Office.