Criminal Defense Attorney in Bluffton, SC

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Fighting For You

When you are charged with a crime or are involved in an accident, it can seem like the world is crashing down around you. Between the threat of incarceration and the chance of financial loss, these foreboding situations often feel overwhelming. Friends and family cut ties, your employer threatens termination, and life seems hopeless. It is imperative to have a fighter on your side during these trying times: one that will stick with you through thick and thin, without any judgments.

Welcome to the Law Office of Richard Waring: where defending your rights and freedoms is paramount in securing your future.

Richard implements a powerfully simple yet effective model for all his clients’ cases:

  • The Relentless Pursuit of a Positive Outcome
  • The Use of Creative Problem-Solving Tactics
  • Excellent Communication

When you are ready to fight back against the allegations against you, it is time to call the Law Office of Richard Waring – a criminal defense attorney on Bluffton, SC, with the knowledge, experience, and drive to defend you during your most difficult time.

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Richard Waring

From Prosecution to Protecting Your Rights in Bluffton

Richard Waring began his commitment to community service years ago. As a young man, he would spend his summers volunteering his time to help needy communities.

As an adult, his desire to help others manifested itself while I served as a prosecutor for "close to 10 years."?. During this time, he would take part in some of the most difficult trials in the Lowcountry’s history. He prosecuted thousands of individuals for crimes such as assault and battery, armed robbery, drug crimes, DUI, financial crimes, and even murder.
His time as a prosecutor was priceless, giving him valuable insight and knowledge into the inner workings of Bluffton’s legal system. Today, Richard uses that experience to vigorously defend good, hardworking men and women whose freedoms are only one judgment away from disappearing.
Whether you made a mistake and need a second chance or have been wrongfully accused of a crime, you need a professional who has put in time on both sides. At the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest easy knowing this former prosecutor will fight tooth and nail for your freedom.

Criminal Defense

When you are charged with a crime, it can become a horrible experience. The range of emotions one goes through can be taxing: embarrassment, humiliation, regret, sadness, despair. The domino effect that often happens when charged with a crime can be awful, as well: loss of job, abandonment by your family or significant other, dirty looks from those in your community.

Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney in Bluffton, SC, can help restore your reputation and repair your life. In times of legal crises, your friends and family may cut ties, but Richard Waring will be on your side from the time you call his office to the time your case is resolved.

Having prosecuted thousands of cases in South Carolina, Richard has a set of skills and experiences; assets that have guided him to win criminal cases against the government. Richard truly knows the criminal justice system’s ins and outs and is dedicated to fighting for his clients to achieve the best possible outcome on their criminal cases.

While some cases result in a positive outcome quickly, others must go to trial. Much like a combat athlete trains for months, hones his or her skills, and goes to war with an opponent, Richard Waring has prepared for and battled it out in many high-profile trials.

When you trust the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands. Each of our criminal defense clients receives the following when entrusting Richard Waring as their criminal defense lawyer in Bluffton:

  • Vigorous representation
  • Quick response to emails and phone calls
  • Compassionate, understanding treatment
  • You will never be treated as unimportant or second-rate
  • Thorough investigation for your case
  • All of your constitutional rights, including the right to a fair trial, upheld
  • Notifications of important updates

The following are common cases that Richard Waring can handle for you:

  • Misdemeanor DUI/DWI
  • Felony DUI/DWI
  • Violent Crimes including: Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, and Murder
  • Strong Armed Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Drug Crimes
  • Manufacturing of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Distribution of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Gun crimes including: pointing or present a firearm, possession of a pistol with obliterated serial numbers, possession of a stolen pistol
  • Restoration of Your Gun Rights
  • Trespassing
  • Larceny and Burglary
  • Property Crimes
  • Domestic Violence
  • Shoplifting
  • Financial Crimes including: Forgery, financial transaction card theft, fake IDs, breach of trust, obtaining goods by false pretenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Traffic Crimes including: driving without a license, speeding, reckless or careless driving
Criminal Defense
Importance Of Your Criminal Defense Attorney In Bluffton, SC

Importance Of Your Criminal Defense Attorney In Bluffton, SC

There are several key players in the criminal justice system, each with its own roles. The prosecutor is tasked with enforcing laws and convicting offenders. The judge serves as an unbiased decision-maker. The criminal defense attorney’s role is to protect the rights of the individual who is charged with a crime – a vitally important role in the criminal justice world.

Having a proactive, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side almost always improves your chance of a positive outcome. While their primary role is to defend your rights and protect you from excessive sentences, they have many other duties.

When you entrust Richard Waring as your defense advocate, he will fight to protect your rights throughout the case by:

  • Arguing in court to reduce how much you must pay to post bail
  • Being present during police interrogations and interviews
  • Discovering and applying potent legal defenses
  • Advising you on your decision to plead guilty, not guilty, or to go to trial (if applicable)
  • Explaining the implications of pleading guilty
  • Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses relating to the allegations against you
  • Meticulously examining the circumstance surrounding your search and arrest (if applicable) to uncover Fourth Amendment violations
  • Meticulously examining any drug or DUI-related chemical tests to ensure accuracy and uncover errors
  • Representing you during scheduled hearings
  • Representing you during a jury trial
  • Working with the prosecutor to discuss plea deals or the possibility of a reduced sentence
  • If convicted, representing you during the sentencing phase and arguing on your behalf for a fair sentence

Knowing Your Rights

As a defendant, you have important rights. Some of the rights that Richard Waring will fight to protect on your behalf are:

  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right against unreasonable seizures and searches
  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right against cruel and unusual punishment
  • In most cases, the right to a jury trial
  • The right of innocence until proven guilty
  • The right to legal representation

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Bluffton, the government must supply you with a public defender.

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Bluffton, the government must supply you with a public defender.

Knowing Your Rights
Knowing Your Rights

Criminal Case Timeline In Bluffton, SC

If you or a member of your family is facing criminal charges in Bluffton, there is no doubt that you are anxious about the road ahead. You are not alone – most of our criminal defense clients worry about the uncertainties surrounding the legal process and what is next in their case.

At the Law Office of Richard Waring, we empathize with this stress, and as such, make every effort to address anxiety-inducing questions like:

  • How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
  • What type of sentence is common for the crime in which I am being accused?
  • Will the prosecutor offer me a favorable plea deal?

We cannot answer these questions in detail until we have time to review your case and speak with you one-on-one. Until that time, this high-level view of Bluffton’s criminal case timeline can offer some insight into what lies ahead.

Arrest And Investigation

Arrest and Investigation

This is the first step in the criminal case timeline. During this time, police officer(s) will investigate the potential crime at hand and arrest whomever the officer(s) believes to be responsible. At this point, the person in question is considered a Defendant.

Initial Bond Setting

Initial Bond Setting

Shortly after the arrest (typically within the same day), defendants are granted an initial bond hearing. This short proceeding determines whether a defendant will be released from jail while charges are pending. It is wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Bluffton, SC, before this hearing so that they may argue on your behalf.

Preliminary Hearing

Preliminary Hearing

The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence (or probable cause) for the case to carry on. Defendants must request this hearing within 20 days of their initial bond setting. Hearings typically commence within three to six weeks. It is especially important that defendants retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at this stage.

Initial Appearance

Initial Appearance

The main purpose of this court date is to determine if the defendant has hired an attorney or will need a public defender appointed to them. If you have an attorney before this hearing, defendants are not required to be present. The initial appearance typically happens 45 days after the arrest.

Plea Offers

Plea Offers

n some cases, the State may offer a plea offer to the defendant. If the defendant accepts this deal, a hearing will be scheduled to finalize the defendant’s acceptance. If the defendant pleads guilty, they are typically sentenced on the spot. If the defendant rejects the plea, he or she may have to go before the judge to ensure they understand the consequences of rejecting a plea offer.

Discovery

Discovery

Under Rule 5 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant will receive all evidence that will be used against them. As your criminal defense attorneys in Bluffton, we will submit a written request to the court to obtain this information. It may take the State weeks or months to turn over their evidence, especially if that evidence is new.

Indictment

Indictment

The first barrier for the State to prosecute takes place during the preliminary hearing. The second occurs during the indictment phase. In general terms, an indictment is a document that details the criminal charges which the defendant must face. Each crime listed on the indictment is called a “count.” During this phase, the State will gather a “grand jury” comprised of public citizens. This jury is presented with evidence to help them approve or disapprove of the charges contained in the indictment. If the indictment is approved, the defendant’s case will proceed to trial. If it is rejected, charges are usually dropped.

Trial

During the trial, both the defense and prosecution will present evidence to a jury, who will hand down a final verdict. The prosecutor’s job during the trial is to convince the jury, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is under no obligation to prove anything. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, Richard Waring will work hard to convince the jury of his client’s innocence while pointing out holes in the prosecution’s case.

Typically, a trial in Bluffton includes the following phases:

  • Jury Selection
  • Pre-Trial Motions
  • Opening Statements
  • The State’s Case
  • Directed Verdict
  • The Defense’s Case
  • The State’s Rebuttal
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions and Deliberation
  • Verdict and Sentencing

Latest News in Bluffton

‘Stop speeding’: Let Bluffton buzzards run the unappreciative masses out of town

Y’all be quiet.Babbie Guscio, the Mona Lisa of Bluffton’s artsy Calhoun Street, has something important to say.“Can I ask a very simple uncomplicated request......stop speeding on Calhoun Street…Bridge Street....all of the little lanes....in old town......this is really getting to be a problem...I wish no ill will.....stop...park your gorgeous hunk of junk...enjoy Bluffto...

Y’all be quiet.

Babbie Guscio, the Mona Lisa of Bluffton’s artsy Calhoun Street, has something important to say.

“Can I ask a very simple uncomplicated request......stop speeding on Calhoun Street…Bridge Street....all of the little lanes....in old town......this is really getting to be a problem...I wish no ill will.....stop...park your gorgeous hunk of junk...enjoy Bluffton....remember...we are used to mules and wagons....and people who walk and enjoy life at a slow pace...I think that may be the reason you came here...”

Babbie has been watching the pace of Calhoun Street for 40 years from her store, cleverly called The Store.

The pace has raced from dogs sleeping in the street to, I guess, mules and wagons. From the tricycle Easter parade to farmers market. From people stopping in cars to chat, to people driving like Manhattan cabbies.

Babbie posted that plea on her Facebook page. It created more waves than the “Lowcountry” armada ripping through the No Wake Zone down the street on the May River.

“Bridge Street posse unit!” one friend replied. “I will gladly help put out speed bumps/humps! Or fill up a pellet gun and sit on my porch.”

“Seriously,” said another. “How about literally everywhere lately. This little town has way too many people in a damn hurry.”

Here are some of the running themes:

Not long ago Bluffton was famous for nailing anyone going over the infamous 30-mph speed limit. Why not now?

Even if you want to walk, or ride a bike, good luck. You often have to share the road with the frantic drivers.

But the bigger issue seems to be this:

No one loves us for who we are.

And they won’t slow down or get out of their speeding cars and boats long enough to even try to find out who we are, or who we hope we are.

It’s as if we invited a few friends over for an oyster roast and a Black Sabbath concert broke out.

In truth, we invited more than a few friends over, and they invited a few of their friends, and when we said “sand bar,” they heard “mosh pit.”

Here’s how one outsider saw us 40 years ago.

Bluffton was the cover story in an Atlanta Constitution Sunday magazine spread, featuring a photo of young Babbie and her funky store with its slow-world name.

Writer Emma Edmunds looked around Bluffton in 1982 and observed:

“Its most urban feature is a policeman who sits ready to siren down anyone who speeds through town trying to escape the tar-paper shacks, ugly service stations and houses that look mildewed and in need of Lysol.

“Blufftonians — in their snobby way — hope outsiders pass right along and don’t discover the beautiful May River, the true heart of town. ‘It’s our protection,’ they say of the ugly S.C. 46 that tourists travel.”

It’s fair to say that chapter of Lowcountry life has been closed.

But here’s a suggestion.

Remember the man on Hilton Head Island who got tired of people speeding through his quiet neighborhood?

He patrolled Point Comfort Road in a chicken suit, pointing a radar gun at passing cars and holding up a sign that said “Slow The Cluck Down.”

And remember the times Bluffton’s mayor dressed as a buzzard in the Christmas parade?

What if hordes of Bluffton people roamed the streets dressed as buzzards, armed with radar guns, holding up edgy signs, spraying Lysol?

Maybe the jet set would think we’re crazy.

And leave.

David Lauderdale may be reached at LauderdaleColumn@gmail.com.

Where to go for New Year’s ball drops and parties in Beaufort County

Beaufort County will be light on fireworks to ring in 2022, but there’s still be plenty to do before midnight on New Year’s Eve.Harbour Town Lighthouse is holding its annual golf ball drop at 7 p.m. and midnight. The event is open to the public, with music from The Nice Guys, Just Keith and Tommy, and DJ Craz-E. Lollipop the Clown and juggler Rick Hubbard will be in Harbour Town from 6 to 8 p.m.Here are some other events around the county:Fishcamp on Broad Creek ...

Beaufort County will be light on fireworks to ring in 2022, but there’s still be plenty to do before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Harbour Town Lighthouse is holding its annual golf ball drop at 7 p.m. and midnight. The event is open to the public, with music from The Nice Guys, Just Keith and Tommy, and DJ Craz-E. Lollipop the Clown and juggler Rick Hubbard will be in Harbour Town from 6 to 8 p.m.

Here are some other events around the county:

Fishcamp on Broad Creek will have live music by Pretty Darn from 6 to 9 p.m.

Lucky Rooster will serve dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. and drink specials until midnight, with live music by fiddler and vocalist Eric Reid.

Poseidon is holding a masquerade ball featuring two DJs at its rooftop bar from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets, which include a complimentary glass of champagne, are on sale for $20.

The Horan Brothers will perform at Corks Wine Bar for New Year’s Eve, starting at 9 p.m. and going until midnight. There will be a champagne toast to ring in the new year.

Target the Band and the Headliners Horns will be at Oak Terrace in Rose Hill Plantation from 6 to 9 p.m.

Burnt Church Distillery is holding a ticketed party from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with entertainment by Bobby Ryder, hors d’oeuvres and a midnight champagne toast. The dress code is cocktail attire and black tie, with a black and gold theme.

Old Town Dispensary is holding a crab pot drop at midnight, with music by DJ Tanz.

Revolution Ballroom is holding a New Year’s Eve dance party, featuring ballroom, Latin, swing, salsa and Argentine tango music, along with hors d’oeuvres and desserts and a midnight champagne toast. The dress code is formal, and tickets are on sale for $45.

Hwy 21 Bar is holding a New Year’s Eve party, with steaks from 6 to 9 p.m. and karaoke starting at 9 p.m.

Police investigating a 2nd shooting threat made at McCracken Middle School last week

Police said Monday they’re still investigating a shooting threat made last week at H.E. McCracken Middle School, despite having arrested a 12-year-old Friday morning. Thus, investigations are still open at the seven Beaufort County schools where shooting threats were made last week, multiple police departments confirmed.On Friday, Bluffton Police Chief Stephenie Price announced the first arrest at a press conference,...

Police said Monday they’re still investigating a shooting threat made last week at H.E. McCracken Middle School, despite having arrested a 12-year-old Friday morning. Thus, investigations are still open at the seven Beaufort County schools where shooting threats were made last week, multiple police departments confirmed.

On Friday, Bluffton Police Chief Stephenie Price announced the first arrest at a press conference, but she didn’t mention there had been a second threat at McCracken, written by another student. Department spokesperson Christian Gonzales confirmed the ongoing investigation Monday afternoon.

The threats appear to be part of a national trend of bathroom graffiti left across the country last week following a Nov. 30 shooting at a Michigan high school that left four dead. Fortunately, like the other threats across the nation, those made in Beaufort County weren’t carried out.

Monday was quiet at Whale Branch Middle, Whale Branch Early College High School and Beaufort Middle and High schools, which were all warned that a shooting would take place. Beaufort County Schools spokesperson Candace Bruder said Monday that the district hasn’t identified any new threats since Friday.

However, officers are still working to identify the source of social media threats made at four schools, and haven’t made arrests at two other campuses where a threat was left as vandalism in bathrooms.

The H.E. McCracken Middle School student arrested was charged with making student threats and malicious injury to property at the school. He was released to the custody of his parents and is being processed through the family court system, Gonzales said Monday.

Gonzales said Bluffton Police Department expects to issue an update on its active investigations at McCracken and Bluffton Middle School midweek.

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Bob Bromage said Monday that police had not identified the source of a Thursday social media post that read “wbms, wbhs, bms, and others I repeat do not go to school on the 13th, next Monday somebody is planning on shooting up the schools. Gotta email saying that somebody is planning on shooting the schools up.”

Additional officers were stationed at the schools Friday and Monday.

At Beaufort High, two messages were left: One on Wednesday read, “Don’t come to skool on the 13th.” The one Thursday said, “Warning!!! Dec. 13th DO NOT Come to School. There will be 6 kids that will shoot up the school. You have been warned.”

George Erdel, spokesperson for Beaufort Police Department, said Monday afternoon that the investigations into threats at Beaufort Middle and Beaufort High were ongoing, but that “everything should be OK by the end of the day.”

On Friday afternoon, Hilton Head Island High School was placed on lockdown for a social media shooting threat.

Bromage said Monday that a parent notified police after their child saw the threat online, and that when officers went to investigate, a student claimed that shots had been fired at the school. “They were not,” Bromage said.

Other schools in the Hilton Head complex — Hilton Head Island Middle, Elementary, Early Childhood Center and School for the Creative Arts — were placed on a modified lockdown as a precaution, said Bruder, the schools spokesperson. During a modified lockdown, students continue to change classes throughout the day, but they are more closely monitored and outdoor activities are suspended.

According to Bromage, the sheriff’s office has identified the source of some of the rumors on Hilton Head, including text messages and phone calls outside of school, but has not found the source of the social media threats.

“We just hope it slows down this week,” he said.

Bluffton luxury RV park to be fully open in February. Some visitors can stay there early

Hilton Head National RV Resort and all its amenities will be fully open Feb. 1 in the Bluffton area, but a few campers can be part of the resort’s soft opening before then.Until Jan. 31, the resort is making 20 of its 341 sites available for a flat rate of $89 per night.During the soft opening, the clubhouse and cafe/lounge with its arcade, store, fitness facility and heated pool will be operational for limited hours, according to a news r...

Hilton Head National RV Resort and all its amenities will be fully open Feb. 1 in the Bluffton area, but a few campers can be part of the resort’s soft opening before then.

Until Jan. 31, the resort is making 20 of its 341 sites available for a flat rate of $89 per night.

During the soft opening, the clubhouse and cafe/lounge with its arcade, store, fitness facility and heated pool will be operational for limited hours, according to a news release from the resort. The adjacent Hilton Head National Golf course is fully operational, and other amenities like the dog park, playground, basketball and pickleball courts will be open.

Reservations during the soft opening can be made only by calling 843-707-4800 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Reservations beginning Feb. 1 can be made only online at www.hiltonheadrv.com.

Once the resort is fully open, the cost for a site will range from $109 to $129 per night. Sites in the adult-only Water’s Edge area will be $159 or $169. Water’s Edge sites will not be available during the soft opening.

Visitors also can rent pool cabanas for $95 or golf carts for $55.

Kathy Chittenden, the resort’s general manager, said in a news release that motorcoach sites will have full hookups with 30/50 amp service, WiFi, HD cable and a fire pit. The resort is open to all Class A, B and C motorhomes, 5th wheels and all towables 18-feet or over that are less than 10 years old.

The clubhouse includes a casual bistro with indoor-outdoor seating and a full-service bar, a retail store, a fitness center, and an arcade with Skee-ball, air hockey and video games. Outside, there are basketball, bocce and pickleball courts.

Next to the clubhouse is an 8,500-square-foot beach-access-style pool and a lazy river that passes beneath a waterfall bridge.

The portion of the park called Water’s Edge is for adults only and has views of a lagoon and the golf course. It has its own pool and hot tub, clubhouse and other separate amenities.

An all-grass, one-acre dog park has two fenced-in areas plus dog-agility apparatus and water misters. Additionally, there is a raised dog-washing station.

There is a playground for children and just over two miles of paths for walking, jogging or riding bikes.

Hilton Head National RV Resort is located at 36 Hilton Head National Drive along the Bluffton Parkway near Tanger 2 Outlets.

Scratch Golf owns the resort and the adjacent 18-hole golf course originally built in 1989.

Lowcountry family looks to give back even as son fights for his life

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Your son is diagnosed with a heart problem while still in the womb. Do you cry? Give up?Or do you fight not just for yourselves, but others?That’s exactly what the Williams family is doing, even as their son Joey fights for his life.Joey was diagnosed with hyperplastic left heart syndrome while still in the womb. He has had eight surgeries, including six open-heart surgeries so far, and he is only 5 years old.Now Joey is on the heart transplant list.“Let’s not...

BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Your son is diagnosed with a heart problem while still in the womb. Do you cry? Give up?

Or do you fight not just for yourselves, but others?

That’s exactly what the Williams family is doing, even as their son Joey fights for his life.

Joey was diagnosed with hyperplastic left heart syndrome while still in the womb. He has had eight surgeries, including six open-heart surgeries so far, and he is only 5 years old.

Now Joey is on the heart transplant list.

“Let’s not allow this devastating news to take over our mindset and let’s just focus on all the great moments we can possibly have,” said LaKesha Williams. “You just really look at life completely different.”

Joe and Lakeshia Williams said they appreciate the small things every day they have with their son Joey and his four sisters.

With those four other kids needing a mom and dad, and treatments at MUSC in Charleston, every day became a challenge, and they needed help.

“A lot of people don’t think about what the family sacrifices in order to support their children,” said LaKesha. “We were more than two hours away and we were one of the closest families coming to MUSC.”

“We have met families that unfortunately lost their homes, lost their vehicles, lost their jobs.”

The Ronald McDonald House, United Way and others stepped up for the Williams family.

“If it was not for those different organizations that assisted us, I don’t know how we would have done it,” LaKesha said as she began to tear up. “For someone to just say come over here and say ‘I got this for you.’ It was such a blessing and so inspiring for us.”

The hard work and goodwill of those agencies spurred on an idea for the Williams — how can we help other families in need?

“Our mission is to establish a support system that provides resources for families dealing with long-term hospital care,” explained Joe Williams.

The family created the Joe Lewis Williams III Brave of Heart Foundation. Not to help pay their bills, but for other families.

“We want to make families feel like they are at home away from home,” said Joe. “To assist them through lodging, transportation, meal tickets.”

“It was those times when we really didn’t know where it was going to come from,” remembers LaKesha. “And to be able to give another family other parent’s that stress relief or just another moment. because it’s truly not a day to day thing it is a moment-by-moment thing.”

“If we can take that financial burden off of these families then they can just focus on the health of their child.”

“We truly want to be there we know what it is like and we want to be that shoulder to lean on and sometimes we have to hold each other up.”

The Williams short-term goal is to help families with whatever they need outside of the hospital to make it a little easier.

Long-term, they hope to raise enough money to aid with medical expenses and even create a home in Charleston for families to stay while their child recovers.

If you would like to learn more or donate to the Joe Lewis Williams III Brave of Heart Foundation visit braveofheartfoundation.org.

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