BURGLARY SUSPECT CAPTURED
APRIL 7, 2016
Dondré Fields 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.
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