A promising life, cut short
Remember Her Name was held Tuesday
The annual Remember Her Name domestic violence awareness program is set for Tuesday, 5 - 7 pm at Sonic in Clinton. It is free to the public, and a percentage of food sales goes to EA’s Love for Life Foundation.
The foundation’s purpose is to provide victims of domestic violence with necessities to thrive and live on past a violent domestic situation; named in honor of the late Emily-Anna Asbill of Clinton, the foundation seeks to motivate survivors, education communities and honor victims post.
Special guest speaker for the 4th Annual event will be Bonnie Franklin, a DV survivor. EA’s mom, Emily Crystal Joy is founder and chairman of EA’s Love for Life Foundation.
The location is at 925 South Broad St., Clinton.
Clinton woman dies, strangled;
authorities announce no suspects
Articles By Vic MacDonald
The Clinton Chronicle
A 19-year-old Clinton woman was strangled to death late Saturday. Monday local authorities arrested six people in connection with a party in Clinton that the young woman attended just hours before her death, but as of prestige Tuesday, no one has been charged in connection with the homicide.
Clinton Department of Public Safety Director Robin Morse said Sunday authorities need the public’s help in sorting out details in the death of Emily Anna Asbill.
The Asbills are a well-connected Clinton family. The victim’s father is a SLED agent, and family ran Eastside Florist in Clinton for many years. Asbill was a Clinton High graduate, attended Greenville Tech and, according to her Facebook page, was in a relationship. She was a member of First Baptist Church, Clinton.
Morse said she may have known her assailant.
During the investigation by the Clinton Department of Public Safety and assisting agencies into Asbill's death, authorities discovered the victim was at a Fuller Road, Clinton, residence earlier where she was supplied alcohol and drugs.
Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain identified six people who were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor:
- 30 year old William Jarrell Alexander of 50 Jaybird Lane, Cross Hill;
- 29 year old Michael Vernon Beaty, Jr. of 502 Calvert Avenue, Clinton;
- 27 year old Charity Nichole Chiapetta of 851 Elkins Road Lot #6, West Monroe, La.;
- 29 year old Nicholas A. Chiapetta of 851 Elkins Road Lot #6, West Monroe, La.;
- 29 year old Kyle Bronson Stewart of 1341 Fuller Road, Clinton; and
- 28 year old Rose Marie Stewart of 1341 Fuller Road, Clinton.
Chastain said the suspects were booked at the Laurens County Detention Center. The investigation into their actions is continuing.
Police were called to Beaty's home at 502 Calvert Ave., Clinton, about 11 p.m. Saturday to investigate Asbill’s condition. She was in cardiac arrest, Morse said.
She was pronounced dead at 12:02 a.m. at Laurens County Hospital. An autopsy Sunday in Newberry determined her cause of death as “asphyxiation due to strangulation,” Morse said.
Authorities have said Asbill attended a party, or a wake service, for a friend Saturday, but authorities have not said who drove her to the Calvert Avenue address from which she was transported to the hospital.
One of the people who drove her to the address reportedly went inside and had someone call 911.
Morse said Asbill had on her arms and hands abrasions that resembled “road rash,” indicated she might have been dragged on pavement.
Where Asbill was throughout Saturday night, what happened to her there and what led to her death is the information authorities still need from the public, Morse said.
The Clinton DPS, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office, and State Law Enforcement Division are investigating.
Many messages of condolence to the Asbill family and remembrances of Emily Anna, who lived at 702 Chesnut St., Clinton, are posted on Facebook, a social media site.
Asbill worked at Perceptis in Greenville, and in lieu of flowers, the family is asking memorials be sent to Carolina Loving Hound Rescue, Wade Hampton Animal Hospital, Greenville - where Emily Anna was a volunteer.
Her funeral was scheduled Tuesday morning.
Morse said officers are interviewing witnesses and anyone who was with Asbill Saturday night to determine what happened.
Anyone with any information should call Crimestoppers at 68-CRIME or 864-833-7512, he said.
‘A missing hour’ will be key to investigation, chief says
What happened in that “missing hour”.
In the time between when she left a party on Fuller Road and when the vehicle in which she was riding arrived at Calvert Avenue in Clinton, Emily Anna Asbill lived her last hour.
What happened to her - when she was with the man who authorities say killed her, and the man who allegedly helped cover up the crime - is, as yet, unknown.
One person who knows, Asbill herself, is dead. She was 19 years old.
A second person who knows, Michael Vernon Beaty, of Clinton, is suspected in the homicide. He faces a murder charge which, in South Carolina, could be a capital crime.
A third person who knows, William Jarrell Alexander, of Cross Hill, is the man authorities say tried to prevent Beaty from being arrested.
The men were arraigned on their charges - murder for Beaty, accessory after the fact of murder for Alexander - Tuesday in Clinton Municipal Court.
Municipal Judge Bob Link denied bond for both men; he said the charges against them “are not bondable offenses” in municipal court. Beaty and Alexander are scheduled to appear in Laurens County Circuit Court Aug. 9.
Beaty has retained a private attorney, and Alexander at this time is represented by a public defender. No testimony was allowed at Tuesday morning’s hearing. Relatives of the victim Asbill and both suspects watched the proceedings.
What Asbill, Beaty and Alexander did the night of June 29 remains the subject of intense scrutiny by law enforcement.
“They rode around (for an hour),” said Robin Morse, director Clinton Department of Public Safety, who on Monday afternoon announced Beaty’s and Alexander’s arrests.
“They stopped. They rode around, they stopped.”
Finally, after leaving the party, they stopped at 502 Calvert Avenue in the city.
There, arrest warrants allege, Asbill was strangled to death. An autopsy Sunday in Newberry determined her cause of death to be “asphyxiation due to strangulation.”
Morse said authorities believe Beaty strangled Asbill.
That may have been the culminating act in an hour’s time period when authorities have yet to account for all the actions of the three.
Asbill had “road rash” on her arm and hand.
Morse said the investigation is still trying to determine how and when the abrasions got there.
“Our investigation leads us to believe Beaty is the murderer. As to the road marks we have to figure out how (the “rash” got on Asbill’s body),” he said.
As to motive, Morse would say only that Beaty and Asbill had an “off and on relationship.”
Beaty, Alexander and four other people have been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a secondary charge in Asbill’s death.
The six, five in their late 20s (Alexander is 30), made alcohol and drugs available to Asbill, 19, at a party. Unconfirmed reports say the gathering was a wake for a deceased person they all knew, although authorities are still looking into the connection.
Asked if the four others’ charges could be upgraded to involuntary manslaughter, since Asbill is dead, Morse said, “We will stay in contact with the Solicitor.”
Morse said Clinton DPS, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, State Law Enforcement Division, and 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office are continuing their investigation.
Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols announced Asbill’s cause of death following the autopsy. Newberry County Memorial Hospital is affiliated with one of the state’s premier forensic labs, founded by Dr. Joel Sexton.
David Stumbo, 8th Circuit Solicitor, will make the determination whether the case against Beaty is considered capital murder.
Capital punishment in South Carolina is by lethal injection.
Morse said more arrests and charges are possible. Beaty’s arrest warrant, served Monday, says in part, “(Clinton DPS) has a statement that the defendant ... did strangle the victim to death.”
As to what happened when Beaty and Alexander arrived with Asbill at 502 Calvert Avenue, Morse said, “They got there and (Beaty) told his stepdad (about Asbill’s condition, EMS found her in cardiac arrest). He called 911.”
The address (Beaty’s mother’s house) is in an upscale, long-established neighborhood of Clinton; the house is one block from Presbyterian College.
Asbill was transported to Laurens County Memorial Hospital. Coroner Nichols said she was pronounced death at 12:02 a.m. Sunday.