Booze, Guns, Car Theft Mar Teen Party

WINNSBORO – A back to school party in Winnsboro spiraled out of control early Sunday morning, ending with one man transported to the emergency room and a Sheriff’s deputy in pursuit of his stolen patrol car.

Deputies responded just after 1 a.m. Sunday to a gunshot call at a home in the 3800 block of Highway 321 N. to find a raging party in full swing. According to the incident report, the hostess, 18-year-old Patricia Hemlepp, told deputies she had only invited a few people, but more than 100 had shown up. Everyone was drinking, she said, and most were under age.

As deputies searched the scene for the reported gunshot victim, they were told by several witnesses that the victim, later identified as 25-year-old Richard Allen Thomas II, of Haygood Road in Blythewood, had been transported to the hospital by one of the partygoers. Deputies later confirmed that Thomas had been taken to Providence Northeast with a single gunshot wound to his foot.

While the search for the victim was under way, meanwhile, a Sheriff’s Lieutenant walked back to the front of the home where he had left his Chevrolet Tahoe parked, only to find it missing.

A second deputy on the scene reported seeing the Tahoe leave the driveway five minutes earlier, heading south on Highway 321 toward Winnsboro. Witnesses told the Lieutenant they had seen a young female suspect climb into the Tahoe and drive away, and the second deputy then left the party to give chase.

The Tahoe was quickly located less than half a mile away, parked just off of Highway 321 on Adger Road with the blue lights still flashing. The driver, however, was long gone.

A bloodhound unit was called to the scene to sniff out the suspect, and a short time later deputies located 17-year-old Frances Daley of Oakwood Drive, Columbia, standing near the stop sign at the intersection of Highway 321 and Coby Road. Video from the Tahoe’s dash camera later showed Daley entering the Tahoe and driving away from the Hemlepp party. Daley was transported to the Fairfield County Detention Center.

Tuesday, Hemlepp was also arrested. She was taken to the Detention Center and faces two charges of underage alcohol possession.

The Sheriff’s Office said the shooting incident was still under investigation at press time.


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