South Carolina Deaths in Police Custody Final Report Submitted to the sc department of Public Safety


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Suspected burglar fleeing police drowns in pond

DATE: Sunday, December 02, 2007

By Associated Press

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) _ A suspected burglar was fleeing police when he drowned in a Boiling Springs pond. James Edward Harris cut a hole in a fence at a small engine repair shop early Thursday, triggering an alarm. When police responded soon after, they tracked the 40-year-old man into the woods behind the business. Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says Harris got into the water and began to swim but was struggling. A deputy swam after the suspect before he lost sight of Harris. Harris' body was later recovered in the pond by divers. Surveillance footage showed Harris going into the business' fenced area, but he apparently never went into the building.


South Carolina Family Searching for Answers


Posted: Jan 4, 2008 05:18 PM

Updated: Jan 7, 2008 10:55 AM

BEAUFORT, SC--Jesse Greer's family says he had never been in trouble before, they were surprised he was arrested and never believed he'd end up dead. Now they are asking questions about what happened in the four days he was inside the Beaufort Detention Center before his death. "It almost looked like he had been in a head-on collision with a car," said Janice Salmon, Greer's mother. His family couldn't believe what they saw New Year's Eve. Jesse Greer lying in a hospital bed, kept alive by life support, his body a bruised and beaten mess. "His eyes were swollen, he had a big swollen knot under his left ear and cheekbone," explained a tear eyed Janice Salmon. "His chin was pushed down almost all the way to his chest." "His back, it just looked like footprints," said a sad Jessica Greer, Jesse's daughter. "Like someone jumped up and down on him." Just four days earlier, Greer didn't look worse for wear after getting booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center on charges of malicious injury to personal property and resisting arrest. A Beaufort County Sheriff's report says he threw a watch through the windshield of a bus at a Greyhound bus station. Greer's mother said friends of Jesse's told her he had taken some form of illegal drug. It, combined with his migraine medicine made him paranoid and irritable. But even when she called the detention center, she didn't get a chance to find out for herself. "Jesse heard him say my name and phone number and said that's my mom, I want to talk to my mom," said Salmon. "I need to talk to my mom. He sounded normal, he sounded like Jesse, he didn't sound injured or sick." As for what happened next, the Detention Center will only say Greer was in their intake area on December 31 when he collapsed and was given medical attention. Greer's family say they may never know exactly what went on behind the Detention Center fences in those four days, or who, if anyone may be responsible for his death. But they don't want retribution, they just want answers. "He should not be dead," said an angry Salmon. "He's 46-years-old, he has a family that he loved he had a job, a son. He should be able to go to work Monday." "Why, why would someone do that. I just don't understand why," cried Jessica. According to the arrest report, Beaufort deputies used open hand techniques and one baton strike to the leg to subdue Greer during his arrest. The entire arrest is on video from a deputy's dash cam. Beaufort County Sheriff PJ Tanner says his deputies did exactly what they were trained to do. The sheriff has handed all the department's evidence over to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who is in charge of the investigation into Greer's death. Reported by: Andrew Davis,
Man in custody at jail collapses, is on life support


Published Thursday, January 3, 2008

A State Law Enforcement Division team is trying to find out how a Varnville man who was arrested Dec. 27 at a Burton bus station for throwing a wristwatch at a bus ended up in critical condition Monday at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Jesse Greer, 46, allegedly threw a wristwatch at a bus' windshield at the Greyhound Bus Station on Trask Parkway in Burton, according to Beaufort County Sheriff's Office reports. When Greer resisted arrest, deputies used a combination of open-hand techniques and a single baton strike to Greer's leg to shackle him, the report states. Greer had been charged with malicious injury to personal property and resisting arrest. The report said Greer's leg was examined by Beaufort Memorial Hospital staff before he was moved to the Beaufort County Detention Center and held on a $6,000 bond. No deputies were hurt in the scuffle.

About four days later, Greer was taken from the detention center to Beaufort Memorial Hospital for cardiac arrest, according to his sister, Melissa Pollard of Nashville, N.C. He's now brain dead and is being kept on minimal life support because he is an organ donor, she said. Hospital spokeswoman Courtney McDermott said Greer is in critical condition. A SLED representative only would confirm Wednesday that an investigation is under way. Detention center director Phillip Foot said Greer was in booking when he collapsed. But arrest records show Greer was booked into the jail Dec. 27. Pollard said she hasn't heard why Greer went into cardiac arrest in police custody or why he initially resisted arrest. "I'm not 100 percent sure what happened," she said. "All I know is my mother called me last Saturday and said there were some incidents that were going on with my brother. Evidently, he'd gotten hold of some drugs that had interacted with drugs he takes for migraine headaches, and he'd been freaking out pretty bad." Greer's arrest report listed his drug and alcohol status as "unknown." "I don't have anyone that can give me a straight answer," Pollard said.

CASE 10:

Man shot to death by police officer

January 7, 2008

GREENVILLE (AP) — A man has been shot to death after fighting with an Iva police officer who was answering a disturbance call at the man's home. Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore says 41-year-old Mark Monroe Evans died of a gunshot wound about 4 p.m. Saturday. Shore says the officer, who was not identified, and a 71-year-old woman who lived in the home with Evans were taken to a local hospital for treatment and released. "He has a cut to his face and he's kind of banged up and bruised up a bit," Iva Police Chief Tommy Miller said. "I think he's still pretty shook up." The woman, Lula Mae Charping, was charged with assault on a police officer and interfering with a police officer. She remained at the Anderson County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing on Sunday. An officer at the jail said he didn't know whether Charping had an attorney.

The coroner and Miller said the officer tried to subdue Evans with pepper spray and a baton before shooting him. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating the case as it typically does when an officer shoots someone.

CASE 11:

Coroner: Man shot in back of neck

By Andy Paras (Contact)

The Post and Courier

Monday, January 7, 2008

MEGGETT — A man shot and killed by a Charleston County Sheriff's deputy on Saturday died from a single gunshot to the back of his neck, the coroner said Sunday.

County Coroner Rae Wooten identified the man as Jeffrey Smith, 34. Authorities say a deputy fired at Smith outside of a Storage Road mobile home Saturday because he refused to drop a rifle, which he had twice fired into the surrounding woods. Sheriff Al Cannon said the fact Smith was shot in the back of the neck is not the only factor in determining whether the shooting is appropriate. Cannon said the media have indoctrinated the public into thinking it's always improper for authorities to shoot someone from behind or when they're not looking. "There's all sorts of circumstances where that would be acceptable," he said. The sheriff said he doesn't know all the facts behind the shooting but that the deputies came upon the situation without knowing what they were dealing with. They had to act quickly. Cannon said deputies are trained to use deadly force if they reasonably believe the public and themselves are threatened. The deputies, who repeatedly told the man to drop the firearm, didn't know if he was firing at someone in the woods, he said. Cannon said it appears their actions were consistent with policy. "They are not required to wait until he points a gun at them or shoots at them," the sheriff said. Around 5 p.m. Saturday, dispatchers received a call from an irate man on a cell phone who said he had been stabbed in the arm and then said he had been stabbed in the heart, Cannon said. Dispatchers checked into the owner of that cell phone number and, around 6 p.m., sent deputies to a mobile home located in the woods at 4849 Storage Road. Cannon said the two deputies came upon a very angry man who was screaming and holding a rifle. The deputies took position behind a tree between 20 feet and 40 feet away from the man and ordered him to drop the gun. The man fired the rifle into the woods. When he pulled the trigger a second time, a deputy fired one shot with his department-issued .40-caliber Glock. Smith died at the scene. A cell phone with the same number that made the calls to dispatchers was found near the mobile home. Cannon said two men were in the mobile home at the time of the shooting but that they told investigators they had passed out after drinking all afternoon. Smith's family declined to comment Sunday. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting, as it does in all law enforcement-related deaths. When it completes its inquiry, it will take the findings to the solicitor's office to determine if a criminal act occurred. Cannon said he will monitor SLED's investigation to determine whether the deputies followed the department's policies and procedures. Both deputies are on paid administrative leave. Cannon declined to name them.

Wilson: Deputies acted 'reasonably'

DATE: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

By Glenn Smith (Contact)

The Post and Courier

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A drunken Jeffrey Smith fired a rifle into the darkness and ignored commands to drop the gun before he was shot dead by a sheriff's deputy outside his Meggett home in January, authorities said Monday. Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said the two Charleston County deputies involved in the incident had reason to believe their lives were in danger and acted "reasonably and lawfully" in responding to the threat. Wilson announced her conclusion after reviewing an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.

CASE 12:

Details out on Horry County police shooting death

DATE: Thursday, January 24, 2008

Horry County Police shot a man dead following a stand-off in Longs late Friday night. It happened on Loop Circle Road. In the stand off, Chris Collins, who sits on the North Myrtle Beach Chamber’s board of directors and a golf professional at Beachwood Gold Course, died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the Horry County Coroner’s office. County police said Collins made several 911 hang up calls and never came to the door when police responded to his home. Police said on the sixth trip to the home, Collins turned his dog out on Officer Ryan Seipt. Then police said Collins locked himself inside the home yelling obscenities, and licking the inside of the glass front door at officers. Seipt’s report said he called for SWAT backup because dispatchers told him there could be a child inside the home. Later police said Collins walked out his front door with a shotgun. Horry County Police then shot Collins. Collins' family laid him to rest in Raleigh and a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into the shooting continues.

Chris Collins neighbor, Jayce Fannin told News13 Wednesday Collins is not the man described in the police report from Friday night. "I just look over there and I'm used to seeing him around usually doing something," Fannin said as she looked into Collins’ yard. Now, the memories of Collins landscaping and being family man are all Fannin have left. Fannin said she spent many summers working alongside Collins in their yards and making memories with his family. "He was a good dad, he was a good neighbor. He was always looking out for me; we'd look out for him." But Friday night, police told the story of a man who took it too far, who lost his life to a bullet in a police standoff. That’s a story Fannin said she doesn't recognize. "Chris was a nice guy and I want people to know that he wasn't some crazed maniac, he was a very giving guy and he spent a lot of time here, spent a lot of time with his family," Fannin continued, "That's all I think about from morning till night; all day long, just how did it happen?" That's a question the state investigators continue working to answer. For Fannin, no answer or reasoning will ever ease the pain and disbelief of what happened at 1080 Loop Circle. "From what I know and the time I've spent with him, he's just nice and he loved that baby." Collins leaves behind a wife and a 3 year old baby boy. The officer police say shot Collins remains on desk duty until the sled investigation wraps up. Count on News13 to bring you the details of that report as soon as it's released.

Man held shotgun when killed by officers

Myrtle Beach Online

January 22, 2008

A man was pointing a shotgun at Horry County police officers when he was shot and killed Friday night, according to an incident report. Chris Collins, 39, of was killed at his home in Longs as a result of single gunshot to the head, Horry County Deputy Coroner Tony Hendrick said. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting, spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said Tuesday. No one has been charged. The incident report listed six officers as victims in the incident but none was injured, according to Horry County Police Chief Johnny Morgan. The officer involved in the shooting 'has been assigned to desk duty pending the result of the [SLED] investigation,' according to Horry County Sgt. Bob Carr, who declined further comment. In the meantime, friends and family are trying to sort out how this could happen to Collins, the head golf professional and director of golf at Beachwood Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach. 'He's a caring person,' said Tim Collins, who said he last spoke with his brother on Wednesday, Chris' birthday. 'He enjoys his job and his work. His wife [Joy] and son [Zachary, 2] mean the world to him.' Police said officers responded to Collins' home on Loop Circle six times Friday night because of 911 calls. No one answered the door for officers on each of those responses. Horry County dispatch officials urged Collins to stop calling 911, the report states. Before the shooting, police said an officer knocked on the door several times then started to walk off the porch and away from the home. Collins then opened the door and let his dog out, according to the incident report. When an officer asked Collins to take his dog back in the home, Collins closed the door and yelled an obscenity at the officer as he approached. The officer called for the Community Outreach Team, including a negotiation team, SWAT team and bloodhound team. Collins later came to the door with a loaded shotgun, the officer said. The officer said he ran for cover on the side of the home and heard three shots. The officer said another officer fired the three shots, one of which killed Collins. Police said Collins was lying in the front doorway with the shotgun in his hand after the shooting, police said. Collins worked at Beachwood Golf Club for the past six years. Club President Blakeney Jackson said he was told of Collins' death on Saturday. 'It was a total shock,' Jackson said. 'Chris was a very valuable employee. We had a very good working relationship.' Collins previously worked as a professional at Bay Tree Golf Plantation Resort and was an assistant professional at Waterway Hills Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach and at Myrtle Beach National Golf Club. 'Chris was a great guy. We played in lots of tournaments together,' said Gil Feagin, who used to work with Collins at Myrtle Beach National. 'He was always involved in the community. It was a big shock when I heard the news.' Collins served on the board of directors for the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce since 2005.

Collins' funeral will be held today in Raleigh, N.C., where Collins grew up and his parents still reside. A memorial service will be held 4 p.m. Friday at Goldfinch Funeral Home, Conway Chapel.

CASE 13:

Officials: Inmate Died from Alcoholism Complication

DATE: Sunday, February 10, 2008

Aiken County (WLTX, AP) -– Authorities say an Aiken County inmate has died of complications related to alcoholism a few days after a drunken driving arrest. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officers were asked to help lead the investigation, at the request of Sheriff Michael Hunt. Coroner Tim Carlton says 57-year-old Danny R. Abney of Warrenville died early Monday after he had a seizure and stopped breathing. Carlton says Abney had abused alcohol for many years and had a seizure when he suddenly stopped drinking after his arrest. Abney had been in the jail since he was arrested on January 27 and charged with DUI. He was last seen alive at 2:45 a.m. Monday. Jail officials found him dead in his cell four hours later.

CASE 14:

Sheriff: Deputy fired 13 rounds at suspect

Man later found to be wielding pellet gun fatally shot in March 1 standoff

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - 2:00 am

By Paul Alongi


Man later found to be wielding pellet gun fatally shot in March 1 standoff A Greenville County's sheriff's deputy fired 13 rounds at a suspect and hit him nine times in what Sheriff Steve Loftis said Tuesday was a justified fatal shooting after a three-county chase and a standoff outside a Spartanburg County mobile home this month. Deputy John Bennick opened fire on Jimmy Clayton DeGrant II, 28, after DeGrant pointed a gun at officers and threatened to kill a woman he was holding in the March 1 standoff, Loftis said. Investigators later found that the black and chrome pistol DeGrant pointed was a pellet gun, Loftis said. In addition to the deputy's name, Loftis disclosed for the first time that one of the deputy's shots hit the woman, Rochelle Jenkins, 38, of Greenville. She was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Spartanburg Regional Hospital, said spokesman Chad Lawson. Bennick, a 31-year law enforcement veteran, has been cleared to return to duty, Loftis said. A Sheriff's Office Conduct and Procedures Review Board met Friday to determine whether Bennick followed procedures. "All of our use-of-force guidelines were followed," Loftis said. "If Mr. DeGrant had complied with Deputy Bennick's orders to put his weapon down and to surrender, then that incident would not have happened." The Sheriff's Office had declined to release the deputy's name and other details of the incident until the review board had met. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating. A SLED spokeswoman declined to comment. DeGrant carjacked a green 2002 Ford Windstar van at 3510 Augusta Road the night before the shooting and later went to Valentine Street in Greenville to pick up Jenkins, an acquaintance, Loftis said. The shooting happened after DeGrant wrecked the van and forcibly entered a residence at 4871 State 101 before coming back out while holding Jenkins, Loftis said. DeGrant threatened to kill Jenkins if deputies didn't back away, Loftis said. Bennick ordered DeGrant to drop his pistol and surrender, Loftis said. He said the pistol DeGrant had was later determined to be a .177-caliber CO2 gun. The deputy took a shot when DeGrant leaned away from Jenkins while trying to get into a car, he said. DeGrant then pointed the pistol at the three officers on the scene, Loftis said. "Bennick, believing that his life is now in danger, continues to fire at DeGrant until he is able to be taken into custody," Loftis said. DeGrant, who lived at a Greenville hotel at 412 Mauldin Road, died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds, said J. Dwayne Corn of the Spartanburg County Coroner's Office. The coroner ruled the death was a justifiable homicide, Corn said. DeGrant was a suspect in armed robberies before and after the van's theft, according to Loftis. The van was seen at one of the robberies in Anderson County, he said. Greenville police spotted the van early Saturday and pursued it without catching it, Loftis said. The final pursuit began when Anderson County deputies spotted the van heading north on Interstate 85, Loftis said. As the pursuit continued into Greenville County, a state Highway Patrol trooper took over the chase's lead, he said. Bennick, who is assigned to the K-9 team, joined the pursuit as a backup, Loftis said. The vehicle pursuit ended when the van wrecked at Woodruff Road and State 101, he said. Loftis said his office hasn't filed any charges in the incident. Anderson County sheriff's spokeswoman Susann Griffin said she didn't know if any charges have been filed.

CASE 15:

Posted on Fri, Mar. 28, 2008

Sheriff defends raid, fatal shooting

Urban League seeks review of shootout that killed suspect, wounded officer


April Bosket

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott moved Thursday to dispel what he said were “rumors” that a man killed during a shootout with deputies a day earlier did not know he was shooting at officers. Despite that reassurance, the head of the Columbia Urban League on Thursday called for an independent citizens’ review panel to look into the incident. Larry D. Bosket was shot in the head, shoulder and abdomen and died at the scene after a brief firefight in his Pine Valley home, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. “Deputy sheriffs did not go in that house to kill him,” Lott said. “That was not our mission. The mission was to go into the house and seize the drugs.” Bosket’s wife, April Bosket, and a 12-year-old child were inside the house when Bosket was shot. She said deputies rushed into the house without warning. Columbia Urban League president J.T. McLawhorn said Thursday he, too, was concerned about the way deputies conducted the operation. He called for an independent citizens’ review panel — separate from the Citizens Advisory Council that Lott maintains for the Sheriff’s Department — to examine the case. “If someone breaks into your house,” McLawhorn said, “the natural reaction is to protect yourself.” He questioned whether the deputies’ belief that Bosket had drugs in the home warranted “that kind of use of force.” Lott said the Citizens Advisory Council, which the department has had had since 2001, is very independent. “We don’t control them. They have a separate meeting. They have their own chairman. We present the case and leave.” The multicultural council, with representatives from the faith community, looks at incidents like Wednesday’s, as well as at policy, complaints, and disciplinary actions taken against officers, he said. April Bosket, 39, was charged Thursday with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within a half-mile of a school, Lott said, because deputies found marijuana in common areas of the home. Deputies forced the door in when knocks went unanswered, Lott said, and April Bosket tried to keep them from searching the house. Narcotics agent Marcus Brown had surgery Thursday morning for a gunshot wound to his left upper arm, Lott said. He is expected to recover. Brown and narcotics agent Jason Williams fired back at Bosket, Lott said, but it’s not clear who fired the fatal shot. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the incident, which is standard procedure in officer-related shootings. Its findings will be turned over to 5th Circuit Solicitor Barney Giese, who would determine whether to pursue criminal charges. Deputies were at the house on Laredo Drive to execute a search warrant at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Six officers went inside while others stayed outside. Deputies had obtained the warrant based on the arrests of two 17-year-old White Knoll High School students Lott said were recorded buying drugs from Bosket at a shopping center at Broad River and Rushmore roads March 3. Investigators recovered 4 pounds of marijuana hidden in bedrooms, common areas and where April Bosket stored her clothing, Lott said. Officers also found scales and small plastic bags inside the house. A sawed-off shotgun lay underneath the bed and a rifle stood in the corner of the bedroom where deputies confronted Larry Bosket, Lott said. Both weapons were loaded. At a news conference Thursday, Lott held up Brown’s bulletproof vest. “Deputy Sheriff” was stitched across the center in yellow letters and Brown’s badge was secured to the shoulder. Williams was wearing a black jacket with a Sheriff’s Department emblem on the left side and his badge around his neck, Lott said. “They’re loud,” Lott said. “They’re making it clear who’s coming in that house.” Bosket shot at Brown first with a .357-caliber revolver as Brown approached a back bedroom, Lott said. Brown then emptied his .40-caliber Glock pistol — all 16 shots — as he returned fire. Williams pulled Brown to cover and also fired once at Bosket with his Glock. Residents say the Pine Valley incident is troubling but not indicative of the community. James Whitmire, former president of the Pine Valley/Kingswood Neighborhood Association, has lived in Pine Valley for 22 years. Residents of the working-class neighborhood were “caught off-guard” by Wednesday’s shooting, he said. “Our community is as safe as any in Richland County.” Whitmire said many residents, including himself, deliberately take alternate routes to and from home — as a way of patrolling the neighborhood.


Table 2 provides descriptive information for known deaths of subjects that occurred during the previous data collection period (April 1, 2006 – March 31, 2007), but for which the details were not available at the time of data collection. The CJ11A forms for these cases provides additional details and are submitted with this report.

Table 2: Descriptive Information for Deaths Occurring April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2007



Race / Ethnicity


Date of Death


Proximate Cause














Drug overdose







Gunshot wounds







Not released







Gunshot wounds

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