Easley man shot Saturday afternoon

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — An Easley woman has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of her neighbor.

Rebecca Barten Smoak, 57, faces charges of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to a release from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, the sheriff’s office responded to a residence on Melissa Drive in Easley following a report that a man had been shot, the release said.

Upon arrival, deputies found a man in his late fifties who appeared to have been shot at least one time in the torso “with what appeared to be a shotgun,” the release said.

The victim was transported by emergency medical personnel to a hospital, where he later died.

On Sunday, Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley released the victim’s name, following notification of his next of kin.

James Kenneth Brazeal, 58, of 100 Melissa Road, Easley, died at Greenville Memorial Hospital from a gunshot wound to the chest, Kelley said.

“Detectives from the sheriff’s office determined through investigation that a female acquaintance had come to the location and was seen by at least one witness to be in possession of a long gun just moments before a gunshot was heard by neighbors,” the release said.

Before he died, Brazeal was able to identify the person who shot him, according to the release.

Smoak was found unconscious at her nearby residence later that day, the release said. She was arrested and transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment.

Following treatment, she was booked into the Pickens County Detention Center, where she is being held without bond.

A motive for the shooting had not been determined as of press time.