Editor’s Note: It took the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division 65 hours to release the details of the allegations against Tammy Bullock and Charlotte Green following their unannounced arrests on Friday July 28, 2023. The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, which decided to charge the pair, never responded to our request for information on these charges. This article is updated to reflect the latest information we have in this case.
MARLBORO COUNTY, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — More than 30 months after Hollis Slade’s death, two people accused of stealing from him within hours of his death are facing grand larceny charges.
Slade died on Jan. 23, 2021, after complaining of stomach pains. Slade called medics from his bedroom and died within an hour or so of arriving at a Chesterfield County hospital. Slade was the caretaker for his wife Joyce, who was suffering from what her family called severe dementia.
Multiple video cameras Slade installed around his home captured several of his friends and former coworkers arriving at his Bennettsville home soon after an ambulance left with the retired papermill worker onboard.
Those friends – which included county Deputy Probate Judge Tammy Bullock – would later go into Slade’s home with Joyce, a newly widowed housewife, inside. Video recordings later captured Bullock discussing “ransacking” Slade’s home looking for his will.
Bullock was the appointed deputy probate judge at the time, but then-elected Probate Judge Mark Heath didn’t swear Bullock into office until nearly two months following Slade’s death.
SC Law Enforcement Division agents went to Marlboro County Friday afternoon – unannounced – to obtain arrest warrants for Bullock and Charlotte Green. Slade’s video recordings captured both women at Slade’s home following his death. The recordings showed the women searching Slade’s pickup truck and going in and out of Slade’s home with his dementia-ridden wife inside.
At one point, the women joked about stealing cigarettes out of the dead man’s truck, “Oh, me and Tammy got four packs of cigarettes out of it; figured he didn’t need them no more,” one recording from January 2021 captured Green telling the group. The comment was followed by a burst of laughter from the group.
The group was also accused of stealing cash, a gun, and a checkbook, but later returned those items to Slade’s sister, Beth Boling, who drove to her brother’s home from Indiana after learning of his death. Boling said the group returned a little more than $2,000 in cash – money Joyce’s hired caretaker, Linda Hood, told QCN she went around the home and collected.
Boling said she had no reason to suspect anything of any of the people at her brother’s home when she arrived the day after his death. She thought they were his grieving friends and were there to help the family plan the funeral and to see that what belonged to her brother was collected and accounted for so his wife would be taken care of through his estate.
That all changed as soon as Boling had a moment alone with Joyce Slade’s caretaker.
“The caretaker, who had taken care of my sister-in-law that night, said to me there were some things that were taken by one of the individuals that you need to be sure you get back,” Boling told Barr in an August 2021 interview, “I asked her what those things were and she said there’s a Ziploc bag full of cash. There’s the truck keys, there’s a handgun, and Hollis’s checkbook.”
“I was kind of surprised that all those things had been taken,” Boling said, “Did she say who took them,” Barr asked. “Yes, Charlotte Green,” Boling said.
The video recordings show Hood was likely telling the truth. Green was standing behind a truck in the driveway when one of the recordings captured her telling the group, “I got that pistol out that drawer.”
The drawer was the exact spot where Hood said she hid the money and the gun.
“I took Mrs. Joyce’s money and Hollis’ money and I put it in a sandwich bag, one of the quarts—the gallons—it was the big ones,” Hood said. Hood used her hands to show the size of the bag, which was a gallon-sized bag. “It was one of the big ones and it was loaded with money,” Hood said.
Hood said Slade kept stacks of cash around the house.
“I took all the money and put it in a bag and stuck it in the middle of her (Joyce’s) dresser. I went back Sunday morning, Charlotte (Green) told me she got all the money, they got Mrs. Joyce’s pistol, it was a .38 and a lot of other stuff,” Hood said in an August 2021 interview outside her home in Marlboro County.
Boling said she messaged Green asking her to return the things Hood said she’d taken. The next day, Boling said Ricky Gardner, Green’s husband, returned the things Hood said the group had taken.
“At this point, I still hadn’t figured out – we hadn’t looked at all the videos. My daughter had begun saving the videos from the security cameras. But at this point, I mean really, we were busy the whole time. We didn’t have time to watch hundreds of videos,” Boling said.
“I will tell you what you told the family that was missing, they got back,” Barr said to Hood during the 2021 interview. “No, they got the money back—a little bit of money…and the pistol. They got a little bit of money because she (Boling) showed me that bag and the jewelry box. They got the money that was in the jewelry box; no, all that money wasn’t in there.”
“I’d been there four years. I knew Mr. Hollis and Mrs. Joyce like my mama and daddy. Me and Hollis was about the same age, but we had a bond. For four years you working with somebody, but I knew a lot of stuff got gone and I told Beth and I was mad as hell,” Hood said.
Will Adams, who showed up at Slade’s home the day of his death, was not accused of stealing anything and has not faced charges in this case.
SLED charged both Bullock and Green with grand larceny – a felony under South Carolina law. The charge addresses the “Larceny of goods, chattels, instruments, or other personalty valued in excess of two thousand dollars is grand larceny. Upon conviction, the person is guilty of a felony,” according to S.C. Code Sec. 16-13-30(B). The penalty for a conviction would carry a fine or a prison sentence up to five years if the theft totals more than $2,000.
The charging documents accused Bullock and Green of stealing $2,203 in cash, a pistol, and cigarettes, according to Ryan Alphin with SLED, who texted Barr the details on the charges Monday morning. Alphin said a statewide press release with the warrants attached would be sent some time Monday.
Slade’s family told Queen City News Chief Investigator Jody Barr neither SLED nor the SC Attorney General’s Office notified the family of the arrests or gave anyone notice to have an opportunity to attend the bond hearings. SLED said Monday morning an agent left a message with the conservator in the case. Beth Boling, who gathered the evidence in the case and reported the allegations to SLED, was not contacted about the AG’s decision to file charges or notified of the arrests, she said.
Boling said late Friday the only notification the family received was a voicemail from the jail notifying Joyce’s next-of-kin that Bullock and Green had been released from the jail. The conservator, who lives in Florida where Joyce Slade is being cared for, did receive a voicemail from an investigator Friday but was never notified about being able to attend the bond hearing for Bullock and Green, according to Boling.
Sources confirmed to QCN SLED agents called Bullock and Green and asked them to surrender at the Marlboro County Detention Center Friday afternoon. The women were booked, given a bond hearing, and released before 3:30 p.m., according to sources within the law enforcement community.
The county typically holds afternoon bond hearings at 3 p.m.
Jail records show the judge set a $5,000 no-cash bond on Green, who does not have a criminal record. Bullock’s bond was set at $2,500 surety. Bullock is already out on bond from a gun charge in February 2021.
Neither SLED nor the Attorney General’s Office provided any details about the charges as of this report. SLED could only confirm Bullock’s arrest in connection to the Slade estate theft investigation, but when asked about the specifics, the state’s top law enforcement agency did not respond.
SLED’s press office also did not have copies of the warrants the arresting agents used to charge the women.
AG Spokesman Robert Kittle also did not know anything about the arrests when contacted late Friday evening. Kittle said he conferred with Assistant Attorney General Joel Kozak on Tuesday about the Slade case, but Kozak did not mention his intent to charge the women on Friday; just three days later.
We’ve checked on the status of the Slade estate investigation every month since SLED finished its criminal investigation in June 2022. SLED turned over the Slade investigation to the AG’s office on June 10, 2022, for the AG’s office to determine whether to file charges.
It took the AG’s office and Kozak nearly 14 months to file the single charge against Bullock and Green. None of the others depicted in the security camera records have been charged.
We contacted Tammy Bullock late Friday to ask whether she had an attorney representing her on the new charge. Bullock did not respond as of the posting of this report. We also contacted Charlotte Green by phone.
“Go f–k yourself, man,” Green told QCN’s Chief Investigator Jody Barr in the call. Green hung up before we could ask about her attorney situation.
Bullock was charged with pointing and presenting a firearm in February 2021 – just days after Slade’s death – stemming from an incident involving her roommate. That gun charge was initially filed under a Bennettsville city ordinance, but the police department later charged Bullock under the state’s pointing and presenting statute in October 2021.
The AG’s office took over that prosecution but has never set a court date, despite Bullock’s attorney filing a motion to dismiss in December 2021. Bullock’s weapon charge is still pending with no action in the case in the past 19 months.
As soon as we can access the charging documents in the case, we’ll update our reporting.