Criminal Defense Attorney inRoebuck, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Roebuck, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Roebuck can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Roebuck, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Roebuck, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

Criminal Defense Attorney Roebuck, SC

Clients rank CHSA Law, LLC as the top choice for Roebuck criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Roebuck Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Roebuck
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Roebuck can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

 Law Firm Roebuck, SC

DUI Cases
in Roebuck, SC

DUI penalties in Roebuck can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Roebuck, SC
When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Roebuck, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Roebuck depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Roebuck, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Roebuck, SC

First Offense


48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense


Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense


60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:


Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

 Law Firm Roebuck, SC


Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Roebuck may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Roebuck, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Roebuck, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Roebuck can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Roebuck can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Roebuck, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Roebuck
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Roebuck, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Roebuck defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

Criminal Defense Attorney Roebuck, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Roebuck.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Roebuck, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Roebuck can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Roebuck, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

 Law Firm Roebuck, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Roebuck, SC

Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Roebuck. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Roebuck include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Roebuck, SC
  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Roebuck, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Roebuck, SC

Roebuck, Croft fire departments seek Spartanburg County OK to become 2nd merger in 3 years

Two fire departments with a long history of working together are planning to merge and become the second consolidation in Spartanburg County since 2018.Spartanburg County Council on Monday, Sept. 20, will consider the first reading of the planned merger between Roebuck and Croft fire departments, and the borrowing of $5 million by the Roebuck Fire District to assist in the merger.If approved after three readings, the legal name will be Roebuck Fire District, doing business as South Spartanburg Fire District. Admi...

Two fire departments with a long history of working together are planning to merge and become the second consolidation in Spartanburg County since 2018.

Spartanburg County Council on Monday, Sept. 20, will consider the first reading of the planned merger between Roebuck and Croft fire departments, and the borrowing of $5 million by the Roebuck Fire District to assist in the merger.

If approved after three readings, the legal name will be Roebuck Fire District, doing business as South Spartanburg Fire District. Administrative offices will be at the Roebuck fire station on Southport Road. The combined districts will cover 44 square miles.

The new department would become the first since Trinity Fire Department in southern Spartanburg County was formed in 2018 as a merger between Enoree, Hobbysville and Cross Anchor, with Woodruff joining the following year.

The Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation already gave its approval of the planned Roebuck-Croft merger. All that's left is county council approval.

Croft was formed in 1956 and declared a special purpose district by the state legislature in 1960. Roebuck was formed in 1957 and declared a special purpose district by the legislature in 1958.

"We just felt it was time to do it," said Roebuck Fire Chief Brian Harvey. "It will streamline our purchasing and give us a lot more staffing options. We will use the same equipment."

Harvey and Croft Fire Chief Ryan Eubanks will be co-chiefs of the new department.

Both said the merger has been in the discussion stages for years, and that their firefighters, as well as others in the county, support it.

"After gathering input, it became apparent that this was the way to go," said Eubanks, who succeeded the recently retired Lewis Hayes. "We've streamlined, moved resources around, shared staffing and equipment, eliminated redundancies, and there's more of that to come."

New tax rate

The merger will bring about a new fire tax rate. Roebuck's is now 29 mills, and Croft's is 32.9 mills – 27.5 for operations and 5.4 mills for debt service.

The new rate will likely be 31.5 mills – 29 for operations and 2.5 for debt, according to Eubanks.

"For the Croft taxpayer, it will be about the same, and a little increase for Roebuck," he said.

The taxpayer pays $8 per mill for each $100,000 of assessed property value, he said. So a 2.5-mill increase on a $200,000 property will cost a taxpayer $40 more a year.

"We don't want to increase taxes," he said. "But we also have to recognize it takes dollars to run our service. We're going to be prudent about that number."

A couple years ago, Croft District borrowed $2 million to buy two new fire trucks, resulting in the 5.4-mill debt service tax.

"For taxpayers, we've been operating like one department," Eubanks said. "They will never see anything change. They will be getting the same fire protection."

Joint operations

Roebuck Station 1 on Stone Station Road houses two engines, a tanker, a rescue, brush unit and command vehicle. Station 2 on Southport Road is manned with Croft and houses an engine.

The Croft station is on Cedar Springs Road and houses six pumpers and two ladder trucks.

The Roebuck Station 2 on Southport Road has been jointly operated by Roebuck and Croft since 2011 when the former Arkwright fire district was consolidated into Roebuck and Croft. That station has a battalion chief and three firefighters.

Roebuck has 13 paid firefighters, 15 volunteers and provides 24/7 service. Croft has 13 paid firefighters and one volunteer, also providing 24/7 service.

Between the two stations, the departments respond to more than 2,000 calls a year – many for vehicle crashes and assist calls from neighboring districts.

Both departments have operated jointly since 2011, when the former Arkwright Area Fire District disbanded and Roebuck and Croft absorbed the Arkwright coverage area.

Growth strains departments

For several years, fire chiefs in many of the 35 departments countywide have complained about a lack of finances and dwindling volunteer manpower to keep up with the demands brought by growth in Spartanburg County.

Some have been able to increase their millage rates, but to do so requires a voter referendum. In many cases, voters reject the referendum.

Mergers recommended:Study recommends consolidation or mergers of fire departments in Spartanburg County

In August 2020, voters in the Cherokee Springs Fire District rejected a referendum asking them to approve borrowing $5.5 million for a new, larger fire station. The vote was 77% against and 23% for. If approved, the tax rate would have gone up by 10 mills.

Last year, a consulting firm presented a study to the county's Fire Prevention and Protection Advisory Committee recommending merging or consolidating fire departments as a way to streamline costs.

Chris Massey, who is director of the Emergency Services Academy in Duncan, is filling in with his second stint as chief of the Trinity Fire Department while the county searches for a full-time chief.

He said he's already seen the benefits of that merger of four departments in the southern end of the county, covering roughly 140 square miles.

"It's definitely improved response times," Massey said. "It's operating like a fire department, 24/7, with four full-time and an assistant chief part-time."

Harvey said his Roebuck district has seen a lot of growth with residential and some industrial development in recent years, which brings in more tax revenues, but it also brings higher call volume and stretches resources.

"Manpower in every fire district is the Achilles heal right now," he said.

Looking forward, Harvey and Eubanks said if they get county council approval, they hope the consolidation will take effect Jan. 1.

"I hope this mentality spreads across the county," Eubanks said. "You're going to be able to eliminate a lot of redundancies, (equipment) replacements – all at a benefit to the taxpayer. You need to take a wholesystems approach and stop looking at individual silos of our organizations, and look at a countywide picture."

Contact Bob Montgomery at

Discover the Largest High School in South Carolina (And Notable Alums)

High school is a transformative period. It’s a time of self-discovery, academic growth, and the forging of lifelong friendships. Students navigate an array of subjects, play sports, and engage in extracurricular activities that define their interests and passions. Socially, high school is where individuals form their identities, learn life skills, and face challenges. It’s a period filled with milestones, like prom and graduation. The 3,500 students who attend Dorman High School in Spartanburg County are living t...

High school is a transformative period. It’s a time of self-discovery, academic growth, and the forging of lifelong friendships. Students navigate an array of subjects, play sports, and engage in extracurricular activities that define their interests and passions. Socially, high school is where individuals form their identities, learn life skills, and face challenges. It’s a period filled with milestones, like prom and graduation. The 3,500 students who attend Dorman High School in Spartanburg County are living this reality every day. Continue reading as we discover the largest high school in South Carolina and its notable alums.

Paul M. Dorman High School at a Glance

Roebuck, South Carolina

Roebuck (pop. 2,768) is an unincorporated community located in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. It was named after the Roebuck family, who were early settlers in the area. Roebuck is home to Dorman High School, the largest high school in South Carolina. Roebuck is a suburb of Spartanburg. Many residents of Roebuck commute to Spartanburg for work, shopping, and other amenities. The community of Roebuck is largely residential, and its character is closely tied to its relationship with the larger city of Spartanburg.

Spartanburg County, South Carolina

Spartanburg (pop. 38,401), located in the northwestern part of South Carolina, was named after a local militia called the Spartan Regiment. The regiment fought in the American Revolutionary War. Spartanburg played a significant role in textile production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As the textile industry declined, Spartanburg’s economy diversified. Today it is home to several major corporations and industries, including BMW which has a significant presence in the area. The city has become a hub for manufacturing, healthcare, and education. Spartanburg is home to several colleges and universities, including Wofford College and the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The city offers a range of cultural attractions, including museums, theaters, and music venues. The Chapman Cultural Center is a focal point for the arts in Spartanburg, featuring galleries, performance spaces, and cultural organizations. The region around Spartanburg provides ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Nearby natural attractions include the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests. Spartanburg is home to the Carolina Panthers’ NFL training camp at Wofford College during the summer, attracting football fans from across the country.

Dorman High

Paul M. Dorman High School opened its doors in the fall of 1964. The original building contained 15 classrooms, a study hall, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium which could accommodate up to 2,000 spectators. By the turn of the 21st century, the need for a larger and more modern campus became apparent. In 2004, the new campus opened its doors. A separate freshman academy welcomes approximately 1,000 9th graders, bridging their transition from middle school to high school. The freshman campus has 34 classrooms and:

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors have their own building complete with 79 state-of-the-art classrooms, as well as:

The new campus was built with an eye toward continuing the foundation of excellence created in the 20th century through the 21st century.

Academics at Dorman High School

The academics offered at Dorman are designed to meet the needs of a changing and growing world. From remedial classes to Advanced Placement (AP) courses, offerings at Dorman run the gamut. From technical, college preparatory, and honors level courses, students choose their areas of study. If they are not available, programs are designed to meet the needs and talents of individual students. Students can focus on fine arts or business and technology. There are dual-enrollment options for college-bound students. Dorman also has a four-year Junior Reserve Offices Training Corps (JROTC) program. Cadets who successfully complete the program are eligible for college scholarships. Those who choose to enlist in the military, enter at a higher rank.


A successful high school balances academics and athletics. While academics develop the mind, athletics develop the physical body, teach cooperation and teamwork, and forge lasting friendships. Dorman High values its athletics and its athletes. The school offers all of the usual high school sports like baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, track and field, tennis, and wrestling. And the not-so-usual bass fishing. From securing the state baseball championship in 1970 to bringing home the state boys’ basketball championship in 2023, Dorman has garnered over 50- fifty!! state championships. The school’s teams are called the Cavaliers, and their colors are navy, Columbia blue, and white.

Extracurriculars at Dorman High

While academics and athletics provide for mental and physical growth, clubs and extracurriculars allow students to discover their special talents and passions. The largest high school in South Carolina offers students 40+ clubs and activities from which to choose. From E-Sports and Chemistry Club to Ethics Bowl and Songwriting Club, students have plenty of choices.

Notable Alums

Dorman High School has a rich history of producing notable alumni who have left an indelible mark in the world of athletics. From football players to basketball players and golfers, Dorman’s sports programs have consistently nurtured talent. The school has also produced other talents including writers, musicians, and politicians. Herewith is a list of Dorman’s notable alums:

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Kevin Ruck/

Judge will wait for blood results before making bond decision for Caleb Kennedy

Caleb Andrew Kennedy, 17, from Roebuck, is being charged with felony DUI resulting in death Infinite Scroll Enabled GET LOCAL BREAKING NEWS ALERTSThe latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.Your Email AddressPrivacy Notice SPARTANBURG, S.C. —Caleb Kennedy, the former "American Idol" contestant charged with DUI in a deadly crash in...

Caleb Andrew Kennedy, 17, from Roebuck, is being charged with felony DUI resulting in death

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Caleb Kennedy, the former "American Idol" contestant charged with DUI in a deadly crash in South Carolina, will stay in jail for now.

Kennedy, 17, from Roebuck, has been in jail since the Feb. 8 crash. He went before a circuit court judge Thursday morning.


Caleb Kennedy

Kennedy cried and was emotional as the solicitor and his lawyer spoke about him hitting 54-year-old Larry Parris with his truck while Parris was standing in his driveway.


Larry Parris

An arrest warrant said Kennedy was "driving a vehicle in the state of South Carolina on a private property under the influence of drugs (marijuana) as a result he struck the building with a victim inside and hit (him) causing death."

Solicitor Barry Barnette Kennedy told law enforcement that he took a hit from a friend's vape pen before the crash.


Boeing executives convene all-hands safety meeting at its 737 Max factory after yet another crisis

Kennedy's attorney, Ryan Beasley, had previously said Kennedy was on medication at the time of the crash.

In court on Thursday, Beasley said Kennedy was recently prescribed Prozac and doctors recently doubled his prescription.

"He had some bad reaction and got lost on the way to his girlfriend's house and randomly wrecked down this dirt road into someone's garage and unfortunately Mr. Parris was in the garage," Beasley said.

Beasley asked for bond for his client.

Parris' daughter, Kelsi Parris Harvell, made an emotional plea to the judge to deny bond.

“For two weeks now I’ve laid down at night and closed my eyes only to see and hear the same things over and over again," Harvell said. "My daddy laying in his own shop moaning and groaning and hollering with a stranger. A stranger that wasn’t calling 911 or even calling for help. Just sitting there with a blank look on his face.”

She went on to say “I hear my screams begging for him to look at me and stay awake. I hear the firefighters cutting the door to get in there to him. I hear the surgeon telling us he’s not going to survive.”

The judge decided to continue the hearing after granting the solicitor's request for Kennedy's blood results from the day of the crash.

Those results will be released by the State Law Enforcement Division. No timeline for the release was given.

Beasley argued with the judge about the ruling but the judge did not change his mind.

"It’s unfair to this kid to be sitting in jail for months on a backlog with SLED," Beasley said. "The fact that a magistrate down in a jail didn’t do his job anyway instead of bond.. I’m just sorry judge. I’m standing up just saying a bond should be set today. It’s ridiculous. Just because they don’t have their act together should not penalize us.”

Kennedy was a finalist on "American Idol" in 2021 before removing himself after a video showed him "sitting next to someone wearing a Klan-like hood."

12 Magnificent Hidden Gems To Discover In South Carolina This Year

Did you know trying new things and taking on challenges makes you stronger and happier? That’s what they say! In order to help you out with this, we’ve got some hidden gems in South Carolina for you to check out throughout this coming year – in fact, we’ve picked out one for each month.AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementThe...

Did you know trying new things and taking on challenges makes you stronger and happier? That’s what they say! In order to help you out with this, we’ve got some hidden gems in South Carolina for you to check out throughout this coming year – in fact, we’ve picked out one for each month.






These South Carolina hidden gems will keep you busy all year long! No matter the season, there’s so much to do and see across the beautiful Palmetto State.

Ready to try some more of the best hidden gems in South Carolina? Have you been to the treehouse restaurant in South Carolina that’s like a fairytale? There’s another hidden gem for ya!

Do you have any favorite hidden gem spots in South Carolina that aren’t on this list? Feel free to reach out to us and tell us all about them!

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Meghan Byers | December 13, 2023

What are some charming small towns you can visit in South Carolina?

Some charming small towns you can visit in South Carolina include:

What are some lesser known hidden gems in South Carolina?

Some lesser known hidden gems in South Carolina that you can visit are:

What is South Carolina most known for?

South Carolina is most known for its beautiful white sand beaches (especially Myrtle Beach), golf courses, historic districts, and warmer temperatures as compared to other states.

Who is Caleb Kennedy? SC teen on ‘American Idol’ is making his small town proud

Rudy Blanton’s knees cramped up while he was working under a deck one day, so he asked his grandson to hand him a “hickey and two screws.”“That sounds like a country song,” the grandson said as they laughed and laughed.Then it was.That grandson is 16-year-old Caleb Kennedy from the tiny Upstate South Carolina community of Roebuck.He’s a top 12 finalist on the iconic television show “American Idol,” where judges have heaped praise on Kennedy, not only for his singing ...

Rudy Blanton’s knees cramped up while he was working under a deck one day, so he asked his grandson to hand him a “hickey and two screws.”

“That sounds like a country song,” the grandson said as they laughed and laughed.

Then it was.

That grandson is 16-year-old Caleb Kennedy from the tiny Upstate South Carolina community of Roebuck.

He’s a top 12 finalist on the iconic television show “American Idol,” where judges have heaped praise on Kennedy, not only for his singing but also for his songwriting.

He performed his original song “Nowhere” on a recent show, and country star and “Idol” judge Luke Bryan thought it was so good he wondered who helped him write it.

No one, Kennedy responded.

“The talent is there,” Blanton said of his grandson. “It’s part of God’s plan.”

Roebuck isn’t a town per se, but a census tract, located just south of Spartanburg. There’s no downtown, but a line of fix-it shops, strip malls and a bank along state Highway 221. The crush of apartment complexes and subdivisions seen near Spartanburg and neighboring Greenville have not reached Roebuck. It’s a place of brick ranch homes and pine and hardwood forests and a population of about 2,300.


Cindy White, who lives next door to Kennedy and his mother, Anita Guy, said Roebuck is the kind of place where everybody either knows everybody or knows someone who does.

“We just got an Arby’s and Zaxby’s, but we need a McDonald’s and a Chick-fil-A,” she said.

People move to Roebuck and stay, she said.

“Godly people,” White said.

She’s known Kennedy since he was born.

“We’re all so proud of him,” she said.

Her daughter, Erica Thompson, who was just stopping by her mother’s Thursday morning, said, “He’s ours.”

They remember hearing him play the trumpet when he was in middle school band, but hearing him sing and play the guitar was even more enjoyable.

When Kennedy was making an audition tape for “American Idol,” White and her grandchildren listened from her bathroom window.

Kennedy’s grandmother Barbara Blanton or Nana to him said he bought his first guitar with money he got from family members on his 13th birthday. He used his cellphone to learn chords.

“Papa” Rudy Blanton said they took Kennedy for guitar lessons, and the teacher said he knew more than they did.

His talent ran so deep he could hear a song and play it. Then he started hearing his own songs. One he wrote was called “That’s My Papa.” It’s a tribute to Blanton and includes the hickey line. After Kennedy’s parents divorced, Blanton became a major figure in the young man’s life.

Blanton, a carpenter, said he’d take his grandson with him to jobs, and Kennedy spent time with him and Barbara after school while his mother, who works two jobs, worked.

For a time, Kennedy wanted to be a carpenter, too.

“Then the guitar struck,” Blanton said.

“My little ole buddy standing up on that stage is a wonderful thing,” he said. “It’s an amazing story.”

Hannah Bynum’s favorite memory of her brother is the almost daily rides through the South Carolina countryside after school in her Chevy Equinox listening to country music on Spotify.


“We’d roll all the windows down and escape from everything,” said Bynum.

Hannah and the little brother she calls Bubba especially liked Jason Aldean. And so it was a particular thrill when Kennedy was paired with Aldean for some coaching and a duet of “Fly Over States” on “American Idol.”

“That couldn’t have worked out any better for him,” she said.

Afterwards her brother called and asked if she would be ready for a phone call in 20 minutes. The producers wanted to tape him talking to her. The phone rang. She answered.

It was Aldean.

“I’m just out here in Hollywood hanging out with your brother,” she remembers him saying.

“I didn’t know what to say,” Bynum said. “It was just crazy.”

The siblings also spent hours at Guitar Center in Spartanburg, where Kennedy would pull guitar after guitar from the wall and play.

“He does stuff like that, like nobody’s watching. I knew this was going to get big,” said Bynum, who is married and lives in Savannah.

Drew Spencer, who runs the house band at FR8yard in Spartanburg, where Kennedy played just about every open mic night for the past few years, said he started attracting an audience immediately.

Kennedy would have an original song to perform about every week, Spencer said.

Once, he saw Kennedy write a song while waiting to perform, then get up and sing it.

“From day one, I could hear his songs on modern country radio stations,” said Spencer, who will soon be touring as the lead electric guitar player for the band Blackfoot.

Spencer said Kennedy’s songs have a depth to them way beyond what anyone could imagine a teenager could write.

“The melody, chord progression, structure,” he said. “I think the kid was just born with it.”

Spencer and others said they see the deep connection between Kennedy and his mother, who arranged all his gigs.

One show featured a conversation between him, his mother and stepfather. He ended by saying, “I love you.”

Thomas Thornton, the children’s minister at Woodruff Church of God, where Kennedy and his family are members, said he has known Kennedy since he was a small child. In fact, he and his wife looked after the boy while his mother worked.


“He has a very giving heart,” Thornton said. “He’s always been very plugged into church.”

Kennedy steps up where needed, whether it’s a role in a Christmas play or planting blueberry bushes for older church members.

Once, he was shy.

“He’s broken out of his shell,” Thornton said, noting the ease with which Kennedy has performed on national television.

He said he’s proud of the way Caleb has overcome obstacles and followed his dreams.

“It’s only going to get better,” Thornton said.

Kennedy attends Dorman High School, which has a student population bigger than all of Roebuck.

The school has gone all out in supporting and encouraging his “Idol” run, making a video, posters, writing him letters. There’s a “vote for Caleb” sign — contestants earn the right to stay on the show by viewers’ calls — at every entrance.

“People keep taking them,” said principal Bryant Roberson, laughing. But school officials just add another.

Robeson described Kennedy as a “down-to-earth kid.”

“You couldn’t ask for a better student,” he said.

Last year, as a freshman, Kennedy played junior varsity football.

Certainly in the Upstate if not the entire state, Dorman is known for its football prowess, with more than a few players going on to the NFL.

Daniel Wyatt, one of the football coaches, said during summer drills Kennedy, an offensive lineman, was grouped with wide receivers and defensive backs due to COVID-19 restrictions.

They all did the same drills whether they pertained to their positions or not.

“Caleb put forth great effort. He did all the things we asked,” Wyatt said.

By the end, the coaches were impressed and just knew he was going to be one of their better players.

Then came “American Idol.”

Kennedy told them he was going to have to give up football, Wyatt said, describing it as a “very good decision.”

“He needs to chase his dream,” Wyatt said.

American Idol airs at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday on ABC.

This story was originally published April 18, 2021, 6:00 AM.


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