Four women, 15-year-old girl arrested after chase in Swansea

Posted by on Apr 7, 2012 in Women Behaving Badly | No Comments

5 females charged in spree

Four women, 15-year-old girl arrested after chase in Swansea

By CAROLINE SMITH

casmith@thestate.com

 

Four womenand a 15-year-old girl have been linked to a string of violent crimes thatincludes the shooting death of a man during an attempted robbery last week,authorities said Tuesday.

All fiveconfessed to their involvement in the spree, Lt. Chris Cowan, spokesman for theRichland County Sheriff’s Department, said Tuesday.

The womendressed like men during the attacks, and their victims were men, RichlandCounty Sheriff Leon Lott said.

“This isdefinitely different,” he said.

Four of thefive, including the juvenile, were charged with murder in the shooting death of22-year-old Keith Etheridge on Friday. The other adult was charged inconnection with the robberies.

Family andfriends of Etheridge, who was fatally shot during a robbery gone bad, welcomedthe announcement of the arrests by the Sheriff’s Department.

Etheridge’saunt, Mazie Lawson, said, “I’m just relieved myself. At least that set ofpeople won’t do harm to anybody else.”

The incidentsbegan last month, according to Richland County reports.

On July 31,two women entered Abigail Vilchls’ home on Percival Road at about 3:30 p.m. He was shot in the hand and his carwas taken.

On Friday, Columbia police receiveda call at about 12:30 a.m.that five people were trying to rob people in the parking lot of Video Expresson Two Notch Road.They didn’t find the person who called 911 or the robbers. However, aftersearching the area, police found the body of Etheridge, 22, in an idling car onCarnegie Street.He had been shot twice in the chest.

Later Friday,Juan Sandos was robbed at gunpoint in his house on Fox Trail Lane by four people around 6 p.m. He was assaulted, and hismoney and vehicle were taken.

The spreeended Saturday, when Swanseapolice officers tried to stop Sandos’ stolen car for speeding.

After the cardidn’t stop and officers realized it was stolen, police started a pursuit, a Swansea police reportsaid.

At one point,a black bag, which police later recovered, was thrown out of the car’s window.A handgun inside was linked to the robberies and the murder, Lott said.

The carfinally stopped, and the driver escaped.

Inside thecar, police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to the report.

Facing murdercharges are:

 

Janeshia Furtick, 17, of N. CampanellaExtension, Columbia

Tamika Holiday, 19, of Airbase Road, Columbia

Trakita Cooper, 17, of Hallbrook Drive, Columbia

The 15-year-old girl who was notidentified because of her age

All four alsoface robbery charges. In addition, Holiday ischarged with assault and battery with intent to kill.

One woman,Starr Richardson, 25, of Bailey Street, Columbia,is charged only in the robberies.

Cowan said investigatorsthink Richardsoncould be the driver of the vehicle involved in the chase.

On Tuesdayafternoon, friends and family of Etheridge attended a visitation atBostick-Tompkins Funeral Home on Colonial Drive.

His youngersister, Kawanda, remembered Etheridge as a loving, family-oriented man who wasalways smiling. She said Etheridge’s girlfriend was three months pregnant withtheir first child.

Etheridge wasemployed as a driver for Inter-Rail Transport.

KawandaEtheridge said her brother used to take her 3-year-old son, Damaryon, on tripsto Charleston.”It’s hard to explain to him why Uncle Keith won’t be able to play withhim no more.”

She had amessage for the suspects: “I’m happy you got caught and I hope you neverget out. You took an innocent life. You took a father, a brother.”

E.B. Strong,executive director of Gang Out in Columbia,said he has seen increased violence among groups of young women in the Midlands.

“I thinkyoung ladies are trying to prove they are just as bad as males and are attackingmales,” he said.

Fifth CircuitAssistant Solicitor Kendall Corley said a hearing to determine whether the15-year-old will be charged as an adult is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

Bond hearingsfor the others are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

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