An Anderson County jury deliberated less than two hours before delivering a guilty verdict in the State vs. Lillian Sims case today in Anderson General Sessions Court. Sims was charged with Homicide by Child Abuse or Neglect in relation to the death of six-month old Shaquala Mance on March 27, 2005. 

Lillian Sims had been a foster parent to the child for approximately two months prior to the child’s death. On March 27, 2005, EMS responded to 123 Compton Drive in Anderson in reference to the infant who was found to be in cardiac arrest. Dr. Brett Woodard, who performed the autopsy, stated that the cause of death was malignant cerebral edema due to blunt force trauma. Sims, the primary caregiver was subsequently charged with Homicide by Child Abuse or Neglect. 

The Honorable Perry Buckner sentenced Sims to 20 years suspended to 15 years prison time with 3 years probation to follow. 

“The majority of children who suffer from abuse or neglect cannot speak for themselves. When this happens, it is up to the justice system to speak for them. The jury, by their verdict, did just that for Shaquala.” Solicitor Chrissy Adams.

The Honorable J.C. “Buddy” Nicholson sentenced David Christopher Ellenburg to 10 years suspended to 4 years prison time plus 5 years probation for 4 charges of Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. Ellenburg pled guilty in Oconee County General Sessions Court in July but Judge Nicholson deferred sentencing until a mental evaluation could be done to determine if Ellenburg should be placed on the sexual offender registry. Based on findings from that evaluation, Judge Nicholson ordered that Ellenburg register as a sex offender and receive sex offender treatment, either while incarcerated or when released on probation. Ellenburg was also ordered to have no unsupervised contact with any child 16 years of age or younger and to be on electronic monitoring and house arrest for the first six months after his release.

Clifford Michael Baker pled guilty today in Oconee County General Sessions Court to Murder for the death of 4-year-old Billy Henry in 2004. The Honorable John Few sentenced Baker to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Joyce Veal, the mother of Billy Henry, also pled guilty to Unlawful Conduct Towards a Child with respect to Billy Henry’s death. Judge Few sentenced Veal to 10 years suspended to 6 years prison time and 3 years probation.

John Paul Woodard pled guilty yesterday in Anderson General Sessions Court (to Oconee County Charges) before the Honorable J. C. Nicholson to a string of burglaries during the period of May - August 2005. Breaking into homes, mainly stealing firearms along with other property, some of the burglaries occurred at homes he had been in while working for a local cleaning service. He received a 20 year sentence suspended to 15 years active sentence in prison with no parole eligibility and 5 yrs probation and restitution to all victims.