Saturday November 28th, 2015 6:53PM

Man being held in Banks Co. awaits extradition on SC murder charge

By B.J. Williams News Director
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
GREENVILLE, S.C. - A Greenville, S.C. man being held by Banks County, Ga. authorities on traffic charges now has been charged in the murder of a teacher in his home state.

The teacher, whose burned body was found in a room of the Quality Inn & Suites on S. Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville on March 3, was identified as Laurie Patton. The suspect, Darrin Eskew, 21, is one of her former students.

"He is awaiting extradition back to Greenville County on charges of murder, arson 3rd degree and grand larceny," said Master Deputy Jonathan Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office.

Smith did not say why Patton and Smith were at the hotel, not did he discuss a possible motive for the murder. He confirmed that Patton's body had been burned so severely that forensics experts needed dental records to confirm her identity. He said the crime lab has not confirmed an exact cause of death, however.

Eskew was arrested on I-85 in Banks County the same day Patton's body was discovered. (See story linked below.) The suspect was driving the victim's car when he was pulled over.

Smith said linking the traffic violation to the murder was nothing more than sound police work.

"They [Banks County] did a great job, they tried to locate the owner who the vehicle was registered to, they were actually in contact with local law enforcement here," said Smith. "[That's how] we found out that that car and that individual was in Georgia. So, it was great police work with everyone involved."

NOTE: As of noon Friday, Eskew remained in the custody of Banks County authorities.

© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
5:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
IRS phone scammers are making calls again in Hall Co.
Hall County authorities say there's been a resurgence of phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents.
11:59AM ( 6 hours ago )
Molly the Firehouse Dog brings smiles to first responders, hospital patients
Molly is a well-known face around the Hall County Fire Department and Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she serves to comfort others during times of stress.
10:26AM ( 8 hours ago )
Gainesville runoff election is Tuesday
A runoff election for a seat on the Gainesville City Council will be held Tuesday.
9:15AM ( 9 hours ago )
Deadline to sponsor Wreaths Across America at Alta Vista is Monday
Each holiday season, veteran grave sites at Alta Vista cemetery in Gainesville are adorned with wreaths as part of Wreaths Across America.
3:42PM ( 1 day ago )