Two Aiken County women remembered at annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence Ceremony

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Oct. 5—S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson recognized Tuesday morning two Aiken County women who lost their lives in 2020 as the result of domestic violence.

The attorney general led participants through the 24th annual Silent Witness Domestic Violence Ceremony at the South Carolina State Capitol Complex in Columbia.

Wilson called the names of 24 women and 15 men from across the state who lost their lives in the previous year, according to a report from the attorney general's office.

Thembi Chalmers, 43, of Salley, and Jacquline Lillard, 29, of North Augusta, were recognized during the ceremony.

Chalmers died in a murder-suicide on July 5, 2020, following a domestic dispute. Her boyfriend shot and killed her in their Salley home before taking his own life.

Lillard died in the hospital on April 4, 2020, after being assaulted by her boyfriend at their residence in North Augusta on March 21, 2020.

Kenneth Andrew Whitaker Jr., 27, was found guilty of voluntary mansalughter on Sept. 22, 2021, and sentenced to 28 years in prison in connection to Lillard's death.

"Family members carried a life-sized silhouette representing victims to the Statehouse steps as a bell was rung for each victim," according to the report. "An additional silhouette represented the potential unknown victims."

"This is a sad and solemn occasion to commemorate the lives that were lost in the past year to domestic violence," Wilson said. "We must keep in mind that domestic violence affects people from all walks of life and we must work hard to break the cycle of abuse by understanding how violence impacts our community individually and collectively across the lifespan."

Wilson; First Lady Peggy McMaster; S.C. Rep. Ivory Thigpen,D-Richland County; religious leaders and other community members made remarks to highlight the problem of domestic violence.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

2021 Silent Witness Victims

* Thembi Chalmers, 43, of Aiken County

* Jacquline Lillard, 29, of Aiken County

* Breanna Fludd, 29, of Calhoun County

* Shanta Singleton, 37, of Calhoun County

* Christopher Brown, 32, of Charleston County

* Pamela Coleman, 58, of Charleston County

* Olivia Goff, 35, of Charleston County

* Jennifer Grant, 36, of Charleston County

* Audrey Heyward, 55, of Charleston County

* Alicia Campos Garcia, 37, of Cherokee County

* Kodie Patrick, 24, of Darlington County

* Henry Williamson, 50, of Dillon County

* Christopher Curbeam, 49, of Fairfield County

* Melissa McClain, 43, of Fairfield County

* Jonathan Heiden, 30, of Florence County

* Antwanaza Cason, 20, of Greenville County

* Twana McDaniel, 42, of Greenville County

* Desmond Parks, 29, of Greenville County

* Kamesha Craig, 21, of Greenwood County

* John Logan, 25, of Greenwood County

* Timothy Bellamy, 22, of Horry County

* Brian Brady, 47, of Horry County

* Naomi Jean Morris, 84, of Horry County

* Gregory Rice, 46, of Horry County

* Lisa McCartha, 46, of Lexington County

* Walter Payne, Jr., 69, of Lexington County

* Patricia Smerdell, 3, of Lexington County

* Maisha Burch, 45, Marion County

* Kent Marcengill, 52, of Oconee County

* Heather Brown, 28, of Orangeburg County

* John Hubbard, 33, of Orangeburg County

* David Jones, 34, of Orangeburg County

* Kiara Richbow, 28, of Richland County

* Kornell Willis, 29, of Richland County

* Jasper Brian, 62, of Spartanburg County

* Ebony Canty, 35, of Sumter County

* Sharekia Johnson, 42, of York County

* Miranda Sturgill-Nivens, 29, of York County

* Julie Taylor, 48, of York County

A statistical breakdown for each county is available at http://www.scag.gov/criminal-domestic-violence-in-south-carolina.

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