Teenager convicted in shooting death

A teenager named in the August shooting death of a North Charleston man was convicted of murder in Family Court last week, but his sentencing will come later.

The boy was 14 when he was charged in the shooting death of Larry Thomas Jenkins, 22, who was killed during a series of events involving armed individuals in North Charleston.

The youth, now 15, was found guilty by Family Court Judge Paul Garfinkel. "The court didn't find any evidence of self-defense," Assistant Solicitor Anne Seymour said.

The shooting occurred early Aug. 11 in the Waylyn neighborhood. Someone in a vehicle fired a gun into the air as the vehicle moved along Constitution Avenue. The fatal shot came when the 14-year-old, armed with his own gun, fired into the car, killing Jenkins, police said.

The youth's legal team had argued self-defense. Evidence showed Jenkins was shot in the back of the head and that the bullet was fired after the car had passed, Seymour said.

The teen was sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice for a 45-day evaluation before a sentence is set. He could be sentenced to a juvenile facility until he is 21.

Solicitor's office press officer resigns

Frank O. Hunt, press secretary for the 9th Circuit Solicitor's office for the past six years, has resigned after he was found to be posting controversial comments on the Internet pegged to news stories published by The Post and Courier.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Hunt turned in his resignation Friday to be effective at the beginning of the new year.

After the newspaper received an outside tip, Hunt's name was traced to anonymous comments posted on charleston.net to an e-mail account that bears his name. More than 100 comments under the screen name "afternoondelight" were posted in connection with dozens of articles in the past several months.

The messages included commentary about crimes and pending court cases. Some contained racial overtones he said were tongue-in-cheek. His postings also showed favoritism for Wilson, who faces a June GOP primary fight against former Deputy Solicitor Blair Jennings.

Council approves preservation deals

Charleston County Council approved 10 plans Tuesday to build new parks throughout the county in the second wave of land preservation projects funded by half-cent sales tax revenues.

Nearly $8.1 million will protect about 400 acres in North Charleston, West Ashley, Folly Beach and in the historic Phillips community.

The latest land deals to gain approval include about $1.4 million toward the city of Charleston's plan for a 212-acre park off Bear Swamp Road that would connect to a future county park. Charleston wanted to buy the land with rural and urban grants but first needed special permission from the council to do so because money reserved for urban areas will be used to buy land located outside the county's urban growth boundary.

But the council deferred a request from the 4-mile Community in East Cooper, which asked for $250,000 to buy some land for a neighborhood park.

Pet redemption fees gain approval

It will cost $200 to redeem an impounded pet that is not first spayed or neutered if the owner lives in Charleston County's unincorporated areas. If that same pet is picked up a second time in a calendar year, it would cost $1,000 for it not to be sterilized.

County Council finalized modifications to its laws for stray animals Tuesday, and now the Charleston Animal Society can charge fees for impounded pets returned without the surgery.

The fines would apply for any impounded cat or dog. Pet owners would still have the cheaper option of simply paying $40 to $70 to have their animal spayed or neutered by the local shelter.