Coroner identifies Florence city employee who died following assault at community center

Coroner identifies Florence city employee who died following assault at community center
Jawan Kavorie Crittenden
Jawan Kavorie Crittenden (Source: Florence County Detention Center)

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – The Florence County coroner has identified the Florence city employee who died from injuries sustained in an assault Monday at a community center.

According to coroner Keith von Lutcken, the victim is identified as 49-year-old Penny Phillips, of Johnsonville. She died at a hospital Monday night as the result of “multiple sharp force injuries in the incident,” an autopsy performed Tuesday morning at the Medical University of South Carolina revealed.

The suspect charged in connection to the assault Monday morning in Florence now faces a murder charge, according to booking records.

Officers were called to the Northwest Park Community Center at 801 Clement Street shortly after 10 a.m. for a report of an assault with a knife.

The suspect, identified as Jawan Kavorie Crittenden, 18, was taken into custody around 5 p.m. Monday in the 700 block of Habitat Lane. His initial charges were listed as attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

“This incident appears to be a random act of violence and has no known ties to previous incidents in the area,” according to a press release.

Florence Mayor Teresa Myers Ervin said during a Monday news conference that the assault victim was a city employee.

Crittenden appeared for a bond hearing Tuesday afternoon, where bond was denied on the murder charge. A $100,000 bond was set on the weapon possession charge.

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