(ANDERSON, SC). Michael Nolan Morrill pled guilty today in Anderson General Sessions Court to Felony DUI with Death. The Honorable Cordell Maddox sentenced Morrill to 10 years suspended to 1 year in prison and 2 years home incarceration plus 5 years of probation to follow. 


On March 2, 2014, the victim, Julio Sandoval, and the defendant were on leave from the US Navy stationed in Cherry Point, NC.  The victim came to Anderson with the defendant to celebrate the defendant's mother's birthday.  The two left the party at a local restaurant around 11 p.m. in the defendant’s truck travelling down Good Hope Church Road in Anderson. According to the MAIT reconstruction, the truck travelled off of the left side of the road as it was traveling West, then back across the road and off the right side, then again off the left side of the road, striking an embankment and overturning several times before coming to a final rest in an upright position.  The victim was partially ejected from the vehicle and was lifeflighted from the scene but died en route to the hospital.  When law enforcement arrived on the scene, Morrill smelled of alcohol and failed the field sobriety tests. The defendant told Troopers he had been drinking and a search warrant was obtained for his blood. Tests show that his blood alcohol content at the time was .156%.


"I hope this terrible tragedy serves as a reminder not to drink and drive,” stated Solicitor Chrissy Adams.  “This is especially important to remember during the holidays. Please, call a cab or call a friend.  Make the safe and smart choice for the safety of others and for yourself.  To do otherwise is selfish, dangerous and can lead to tragic results and criminal consequences.” 


(Anderson, SC). Debra Lynne Sheridan was found guilty today by an Anderson County jury of two counts of rabies violations and methamphetamine possession and not guilty on ill treatment of animal charges. The Honorable R. Scott Sprouse sentenced Sheridan to 3 years suspended to 5 years probation as well as to surrender the animals to Anderson County PAWS. A condition of probation is that Sheridan is not allowed to operate an animal rescue while she is on probation. 


On March 18, 2015, Anderson County law enforcement went to the residence of the defendant at 818 Hamlin Road in Easley (Anderson County) to perform a welfare check on the animals located on the property. A large number of dogs and cats were found to be without proper shelter and water in a fenced area which smelled strongly of excrement. Several closed kennels were also found with dogs inside in similar conditions as those found outside. Fifty-three dogs and seven cats were seized from the property. Nineteen dogs and three cats were in visibly poor health. Sheridan was unable to provide veterinary records or rabies vaccination documentation for the animals on the property. When searched prior to her arrest, a small baggie which tested positive for methamphetamine was found in Sheridan’s front left pocket. 


“While we are disappointed in the verdict, we respect the jury’s decision,” said Solicitor Chrissy Adams.  “The defendant’s continued lack of proper care for these helpless animals is inexcusable.  We are thankful that the Judge saw fit to relinquish the custody of the animals to PAWS where they can now be adopted into loving homes.”     


(Anderson, SC). Billy Ray Smith was found guilty today by an Anderson County jury of the attempted murder of his wife, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, obstruction of justice and unlawful possession of a weapon. The Honorable R. Scott Sprouse sentenced Smith to 20 years for attempted murder and 5 years on each of the other charges to be served concurrently.


On April 22, 2014, EMS and law enforcement were called to South Hamilton Street in Williamston in response to a call regarding a shooting. The victim was immediately transported to Greenville Hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. The husband of the victim, Billy Ray Smith originally told officers that someone had shot through the door, hitting his wife in the head.  The gun was later found at the home of the defendant’s son. The defendant later admitted to shooting his wife. Statements and evidence taken at the scene led to the arrest of Billy Ray Smith for the attempted murder of his wife. Although Ms. Smith’s injuries were critical and she remained in ICU for several weeks, she was later released from the hospital. 


“Although domestic violence is often accompanied by alcohol or drug use, it is not an excuse nor a defense.” stated Solicitor Chrissy Adams. “Ms. Smith will continue to live with the physical and emotional scars as a result of the actions of this defendant. Hopefully with the support of her family and organizations who help those who have been through similar situations, she will be able to heal emotionally.”