SLED: Fire was attempt to keep witness from testifying

Last updated: June 25. 2014 9:23PM - 393 Views
By D. C. Moody dmoody@civitasmedia.com



This is the underside of the house at 106 Maryland Ave. in Easley. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has charged two people with setting the fire early Monday morning in an attempt to keep a witness from testifying at a trial that was to start that morning. The three occupants escaped with no injuries.
This is the underside of the house at 106 Maryland Ave. in Easley. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has charged two people with setting the fire early Monday morning in an attempt to keep a witness from testifying at a trial that was to start that morning. The three occupants escaped with no injuries.
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EASLEY — Adam Eytcheson’s mother woke up early Monday morning to find their home at 106 Maryland Ave. filling with smoke so she did what every emergency planning exercise teaches: Madea Everrett woke up the home’s other occupants — her husband, Randy, and her 23-year-old son Adam.


All three made it out alive. It was 3:30 a.m.


Eytcheson, in an interview with The Easley Progress on Wednesday, said Randy, his stepfather, found smoke pouring from underneath the house once outside that morning. The crawl space to the home was partially open so Randy kicked it open, only to find a bottle on fire underneath the house.


Randy threw it out in the yard, hosed it down then called 911. The Easley Fire Department and Easley Police Department responded and secured the scene. Because of the nature of the devices used to start the fire, the EFD called the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate.


On Tuesday, SLED charged two people – Alexander Tuckey Dillard, 22, of Easley, and Alexis Jade Adams, 18, of Travelers Rest – in connection with the fire officials said was started in an attempt to keep a witness from appearing in court.


Dillard has been charged with one count of third-degree arson, three counts of attempted murder, one count of intimidation of a witness and 10 counts of manufacturing a destruction device.


Adams has been charged with one count of conspiracy and accessory to a felony because, according to warrants, she was with Dillard when he bought the materials to make the 10 devices.


Eytcheson was scheduled to testify Monday against Dillard, who was on trial for armed robbery in connection with the November 2012 armed robbery of a Dollar General in Pelzer. Eytcheson had been charged as an accessory before the fact in the case.


Eytcheson said he went to court only to find the trial had been delayed because Dillard didn’t show up as scheduled.


Dillard turned himself in to authorities late that afternoon and the trial resumed Tuesday morning. Dillard pleaded guilty to the armed robbery charge.


Eytcheson said it wasn’t the first time he and Dillard had crossed paths after their arrests.


“As a co-defendant, I was told not to have any contact with Alex,” Eytcheson said. “He texted me a few months ago and told me I was not going to be tried in this case. When I asked him why and how he knew that, all he said was ‘Come see me and I will tell you all about it.’”


Eytcheson said he doesn’t know what will happen now.


“I am going to plead guilty as an accessory before the fact and I hope because I did the right thing, even if it was after the robbery, that maybe I will get PTI or two to three years’ probation,” he said.


According to SLED, Dillard faces up to 15 years in prison on the arson charge, 30 years on each count of attempted murder, two to 15 years on the manufacturing a destruction device charges and up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both on the witness intimidation charge.


Adams faces up to five years in prison or a fine up to $5,000 on the conspiracy charge.


Dillard’s address was listed as 2065 Fairfax Road in Easley. Adams’ address was listed as 1215 Keller Mill Road in Travelers Rest.

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