Prostitute, bank robbers sentenced in violent home invasion

Donald Peters, Lauren Baughman and Kurtis Edwards
Donald Peters, Lauren Baughman and Kurtis Edwards

BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Three people were sentenced for their role in a violent June 2011 home invasion in Beaufort County that left a 70-year-old man severely beaten.

On Wednesday, 40-year-old Donald Peters was sentenced to 23 years in prison at the conclusion of a two-day trial where jurors convicted Peters of first-degree burglary, armed robbery and assault and battery.

Lauren Baughman, 24, pleaded guilty on Monday to accessory after the fact and was sentenced to five years in prison, a reduced sentence in exchange for her testimony. Court officials say 29-year-old Kurtis Edwards also pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, armed robbery and assault and battery and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

On June 29, 2011, neighbors heard dogs barking and found a 70-year-old man, who was bloody and dazed, staggering through the yard.

According to court documents, earlier in the evening, the man had invited two prostitutes to his home. Officials with the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office say one of the prostitutes, identified as Baughman, unlocked a door to the man's house.

After the women left, two men broke into the home and beat the victim in the head with a police baton. The two also stole $3,000 from the home.

Detectives tracked down the women and uncovered a plot between Baughman and her two friends, Edwards and Peters, to rob the victim after he fell asleep.

The solicitor's office says during the robbery, Peters beat the victim, while Edwards restrained a dog.

"They were looking for an easy mark," said assistant solicitor Meredith Bannon of the Career Criminal Prosecution Unit. "They picked a victim who they thought wouldn't report the crime to the police. These three dangerous criminals went to extreme lengths to get money to score more drugs. This case shows the sad consequences of prescription pill addiction in our community."

Edwards and Peters each have previous federal bank robbery convictions for separate incidents.

By law, both Edwards and Peters must serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before being eligible for parole.

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