Former WRS employee arrested in murder

First Byline: 
Susan C. Delk - Managing Editor

A former Williston Rescue Squad employee has pled to charges stemming from the company's Medicare fraud case, but now she also faces murder charges in the death of her husband.
Melody Oakley, 40, of Branchville was arrested by SLED Dec. 30 and charged with murder and conspiracy along with two other women.
Oakley, Ann Anderson, 47, and Carrie Ashley, 25, both of Orangeburg, are accused of killing Oakley's husband, Branchville Fire Chief Alan Oakley, Dec. 28.
According to arrest warrants provided by SLED, Oakley, along with the other two women, "planned and carried out the murder" of Oakley's husband by "stabbing him in the neck."
All three women were taken to the Orangeburg Calhoun Regional Detention Center.
The Fraud case
Oakley was employed by WRS as the transport supervisor of WRS' non-emergency transport divison and was a licensed paramedic from 2008 until Dec. 2011.
Court documents indicate Oakley was originally charged with four counts of health care fraud, but a Nov. 14 plea agreement indicated Oakley would cooperate with investigators and would have her charges reduced as a result.
Court documents also indicate that Oakley and a co-defendant, Jessica Kight, were "jointly and severally liable" for a minimum of $1,811,869 in fraud charges to Medicare.
Documents filed Dec. 9 in the fraud case state, Oakley has been enrolled in training to become a registered nurse and she had been employed with Trustus Medical Transport in West Columbia since April 2013.
She additionally worked at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg as a lab technician.
Court documents reveal Oakley was "entrenched in the corporate culture" of the rescue squad, which at the time her employment began with WRS was under the direction of the late Gene Williams.
Oakley became the transport supervisor in 2008 and "received no training and merely attempted to continue the work of her predecessor," court documents indicate.
From 2007 until December 2011 Jessica Kight, a co-defendant of Oakley in the fraud case, was also employed at WRS as a billing supervisor.
The fraud charges arose because WRS was transporting several patients in one ambulance but were billing Medicare as if each was transported separately.