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Crime: Two arrests follow inmate’s suspected tryst at park

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

County employees who work with jail inmates will undergo additional training after the arrest this week of two people in connection with an inmate who was apparently having sex in the women’s bathroom at Stables Park. Inmate labor is used to maintain county facilities.

“They are a very important part of the county’s workforce,” Sheriff Lane Cribb said. His office is responsible for the jail, but the inmates are supervised by county employees. They will all be required to get new training through the state Association of Counties and the sheriff’s office. “Everybody who has anything to do with them,” Cribb said.

A man who was naked except for the pants down around his ankles was discovered in the Stables Park bathroom around 4:30 p.m. on March 8 by a Waccamaw High student, 15, who was practicing at the park with the girls lacrosse team. The man jumped up fast when she saw him, the girl told a deputy. She described him as a light-skinned, black male about 5-foot-11.

The girl left to tell her coach, but returned to get some equipment she left outside the bathroom. She saw a black female with short hair and a long multicolored maxi dress leave the bathroom. The woman appeared to be tucking her breasts back into the dress, she told the deputy. The woman drove off in a gold Toyota.

The coach told the deputy a tall black man wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt was standing by the building as she went to unlock the bathroom before the team’s practice. He tried to open a door, but it was locked and he walked off, she told the deputy.

The coach discovered the keys to the bathroom were gone when she went to get them from a lock box. The bathroom was open. She checked inside. No one was there. After the player told her what she had seen, the coach said she saw the man leave in a county truck.

Another witness told the deputy he saw two men, one white and one black, working on the scoreboards.

On Monday, deputies arrested John Paul Lackey, 45, of Conway, an employee with the county Facility Services Division. He was charged with providing contraband to an inmate and released on $10,000 bond.

He is accused of letting an inmate use his cellphone, according to the sheriff’s office. The case remains under investigation, but Cribb said the current assumption is that the phone was used to arrange for sex.

The inmate, William Dean Burden, 46, was charged with indecent exposure. A former Dorchester County resident, he is serving a 20 year sentence for assault and battery with intent to kill and child abuse, according to the state Department of Corrections. He is due for release in 2018. Burden had been in the Georgetown County jail for almost three years. He was transferred Tuesday to the Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia.

“Doing it’s bad enough. This is worse,” because it involved the park and a juvenile, Cribb said.

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