Upstate SC Solicitor Under Fire In Josh Kimbrell Case

WALT WILKINS URGES “CANNED RESPONSE” || By FITSNEWS ||  An Upstate solicitor with his eyes on the South Carolina governor’s mansion is under fire for refusing to drop criminal child sex abuse charges against a a prominent evangelical leader – one who is also eyeing a career in politics. Not…


|| By FITSNEWS ||  An Upstate solicitor with his eyes on the South Carolina governor’s mansion is under fire for refusing to drop criminal child sex abuse charges against a a prominent evangelical leader – one who is also eyeing a career in politics.

Not surprisingly, the dueling allegiances are starting to spark some serious tension …

Thirteenth circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins – nephew of former S.C. Speaker and U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins – is facing criticism for failing to drop child sex charges filed last fall against Upstate social conservative activist and radio host Joshua “Josh” Kimbrell.

According to Kimbrell’s accuser – his ex-wife Kacy Lyons Hatmaker – the aspiring politician committed various sex acts with the couple’s three-year-old son, Tristan Kimbrell.

Serious stuff right?

Absolutely …

“If Kimbrell is innocent, then his accuser is guilty of the most insidious character assassination we’ve ever seen,” we wrote early on in the case. “If he’s guilty, though, there is literally no punishment we view as too severe.”

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – who named Kimbrell to her 2014 “Faith and Family Coalition” – wasted little time in forming her opinion on the matter.  Quietly (and quickly) she scrubbed his name from her campaign website the day the story broke– eager to avoid a scandal less than three weeks away from the November 4 elections.


Other social conservatives stood by Kimbrell, though, saying such graphic accusations were “not uncommon” in protracted custody battles like the one between Kimbrell and his ex-wife.  In addition to the shock waves it sent across the Palmetto State, the Kimbrell case also drew national attention – with one fathers’ rights columnist weighing in all the way from California.

Last month, the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) “unfounded” the sexual abuse claim against the evangelical leader – determining that incriminating statements made by his three-year-old son had been “coerced.”

More than a month later, though, Wilkins is still refusing to drop the charges.

In fact when one Kimbrell supporter reached out to him seeking an update on the case, he urged an underling to offer them “the canned response.”

Take a look …

(Click to play)

Canned Response-Redacted

(Pic: Provided)

Interesting …

Kimbrell supporters are livid at Wilkins.  Not only should the charges be dropped, they say, but Kimbrell should have never been arrested in the first place.

“Josh’s arrest has been a vast overreach by a member of law enforcement in Greenville (looking) to make a high-profile case out of a conservative political voice in the Upstate,” one Kimbrell ally told FITS last month.

In fact Kimbrell is reportedly mulling a civil rights lawsuit related to his arrest – arguing his ex-wife has made similar false claims in the past and that investigators arrested him without cause.

Tristan Kimbrell has been in SCDSS foster care since the beginning of October.  He has not seen his father since late September – or his mother since early October.

Again … we’re not claiming to know what specific evidence triggered Kimbrell’s arrest.  Nor are we presuming to know Wilkins’ reasons for pressing forward with the case in the wake of SCDSS “unfounding” the allegations.

We do know one way or the other … some one is going to have some serious explaining to do when this thing is over.


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Incredibly sad January 15, 2015 at 11:27 am

“Tristan Kimbrell has been in SCDSS foster care since the beginning of October. He has not seen his father since late September – or his mother since early October.”

That is absolutely heartbreaking. The child, is the victim.

The big question in my mind, if SCDSS has found the allegations unfounded, why doesn’t Josh Kimbrell get his kid back?

Can you imagine how a three year old child must feel when his major form of stability, his parents, are stripped from him and he’s placed with total strangers? (not withstanding the question of whether either side has been abusive)

Flip Coscoe January 15, 2015 at 11:30 am

The timing of these charges were always ‘suspicious’, in my opinion.
It was apparently a last ditch effort by Haley’s political and personal enemies to influence the governors election after the polling showed Haley an easy winner.

What was even more interesting was that this judicial and law enforcement ‘overeach’ (?)happened in the ‘upstate’-Greenville.

If Haley would have a political opponent from that area running against last November and spending millions of $$$$’s to defeat her, I would have really had questions about the motives of all involved and who knew what??? :-))))

Just a shame Josh was apparently a ‘pawn’ in this high stakes political event.

Troll Date January 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

“The timing of these charges were always ‘suspicious’, in my opinion.”

Like when you and Tango enter a room together?

guesty January 15, 2015 at 11:58 am

Has DSS come out and said they found no abuse? Or is it just Josh and his lawyers making this claim?

MadSec January 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

The reports from DSS came back as unfounded. So, no its not just Josh and his lawyers.

guesty January 15, 2015 at 1:15 pm

You have personal knowledge of this? I’ve read all the news reports and didn’t see where anyone from DSS said it was unfounded. Only Josh and his lawyers saying that is was so. I did read where Mauldin cops said an earlier accusation was unfounded.

MadSec January 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Yes, I have personal knowledge of this. It’s truly unfortunate that the accuser has lied and victimized a child and torn him away from the family for personal gains. You can also check out the Reunite Josh and Tristan page on facebook for more information.

Sue January 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Any type of link to or a copy of this DSS report?

DroptheChargesWalt January 15, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Yes 2 different times they had investigated this false claim and found 0 evidence of anything at all. The ex-wife should be the one facing charges after making this allegation in Mauldin which police found nothing then going to Greenville police where she found someone willing to join in on her plan of vengeance. If it a shame that someone can be put through all this with nothing more than an upset ex-wife saying he did it. I hope he sues the Greenville police and the ex for all he can but most importantly I hope Walt Wilkins very soon decides to abandon whatever agenda he has and drop the crazy charges and let this family be rejoined together.

MadSec January 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm

DroptheChargesWalt, I agree! She needs to be punished, Walt needs to drop whatever agenda he has going on and #JoshandTristan need to be #reunited.

Rocky January 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm

If you put a sweater vest on him he’d look like a little Sanitorium. Does anyone ever thing maybe he’s Flip Crisco?

Just some guy January 15, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Walt does not want to be governor. He wants to follow in his daddy’s footsteps and become a federal judge. A lot less pressure and more money. Look at his dad who is being paid a million by Nexsen Pruitt. BTW, his uncle is with Nelson Mullins making a cool Million as well and can’t keep a client to save his life.

Naomi Thomas March 24, 2015 at 8:16 am

criminal attorney Greenville SClooks with a different perspective

ELCID January 15, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Another crazy accusation (show the proof) made against a father during a divorce.
Women and sometimes men too, will make unfounded and horrible claims against their X in a divorce. Just look at the Mark Sanford case as an example of two looney tunes making fools of themselves in public. It’s always sad that the real losers in these cases are the humiliated children.

MadSec January 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

First, let me start by saying that Josh is amazing man. I have stood by him through this whole ordeal and I can honestly say he is a bigger person than I am. I would not have been so patient and kind in the midst of all this debacle. Having said that, patience are running thin and Josh needs these charges dropped so that he can have his child back.

Whatever Walt’s aspirations are, one thing is certain–He NEEDS to do his job in order to get there! And leaving this case pending for so long, lying, using words like “canned response” is not fulling the duties his job entails!! I have serious doubts about Walt and his abilities. Is there even an investigation going on or is everyone just sitting on their asses jerking off while nothing gets done!???!!??!

It is unbelievable that Walt Wilkins is still sitting on these charges and has done nothing. #REUNITEJOSHANDTRISTAN

TSIB January 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm

“Tristan Kimbrell has been in SCDSS foster care since the beginning of October. He has not seen his father since late September – or his mother since early October.”

This is very sad. How do you know this, though? And what are the allegations against the mother?

Bible Thumper January 15, 2015 at 2:24 pm

That Walt Wilkins would actually use the phrase “canned response” shows disrespect for the public. Marcia! Marcia! Marcia Barker! Are you that stupid, that you would send it out in your reply?

This is why I hate lawyers. Wilkins is holding the threat of child sexual assault charges and the sex offender registry over Joshua’s head in order to pressure him to plea to a lesser charge. Wilkins is in a politically bad spot, if he doesn’t get a guilty plea or verdict. He will drag it out as long as possible regardless of the harm to the child.

If you have a case go to court. If not drop all charges.

GrandTango January 15, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Didn’t FITS convict the guy too, based solely on the fact he is a Conservative???…which is usually the criteria you use to indict the people you hate…

Write it down January 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm

What the Wilkins want……the Wilkins get. Period.

nitrat January 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Lord, the Christianists are paranoid.
It’s absurd to believe a (Republican) prosecutor would go after someone re: child sexual assault for political reasons.
On the other hand, Nikki Haley might have pressured someone at DSS to unfound a case related to the politically connected.

Yelsewh January 16, 2015 at 8:15 am

In a one party state they turn on one another.

Bigger T January 15, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Just an OPINION, but he looks like a *&#@^^%$ GAY to me. Just like Jim Bakker and Michele Bachmann’s husband.

Marsh January 15, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Walt Wilkens wants to be governor. Alan Wilson wants to be governor. Alan preaches anti domestic violence stuff 24/7. Walt needs this child abuse stuff to nullify the Wilson blatantly political domestic vilance nonsence.

The only family more political and less principled than the Wilson family is the Wilkens family.

Poor Josh is just in the wrong place at the wrong time,

nitrat January 16, 2015 at 9:04 am

Outside of the counties where he is solicitor, no one in SC has ever heard of Walt Wilkins. Even the former ambassador never rose on the radar of the vast majority of South Carolinians.
The Wilkins obsessed bunch in the upstate think these people mean more in the state than they ever did. Powers in the legislature, not to the level of Sol Blatt and Edgar Brown, but powers, I’ll give you that
Almost every county in SC has or has had in the past a ‘Boss Hogg’ who controls everything. Those types are not as all-powerful or as prevalent as they used to be. The Wilkins are the big fish in their little pond.
If you people don’t like the Wilkins, vote against them every chance you get. If they win their elections, understand that you must not be good at getting your message out or people don’t believe you.

Team Tristan January 15, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Tristan absolutely loves his dad! It is a tragedy that his mother is so jealous of that love that she would go to these lengths. Josh is an extremely sweet, caring, and loving father. He has always taught Tristan Godly values and been protective over him. Walt, I know is also a father. I am sure if he put himself in Josh’s shoes then he would realize how much pain not only Josh is going through but Tristan as well. Even through all of this one thing I know for sure is that Josh will not give up. He loves Tristan too much and will continue to fight for him as a great father should!

Slartibartfast January 16, 2015 at 12:00 am

There is an automatic prejudice against preachers. An early American folk song sings, “the preacher is a dodger, he’s a well known dodger…” Many people know this man, and believe him to be good and honest. There are two terribly powerful forces pitted against each other – the buckle bible belters and the VERY loyal old Greenville group. Both are comprised of good, honorable, and undeniably powerful people.

One of two things is true: either the man is guilty or he isn’t. If he is guilty, then great care must be taken NOT to let him escape the law, and Walt is being careful. If he is innocent, then great care must be taken to exonerate him in every way possible, and Walt is being careful.

Nobody’s perfect, but Walt’s done a pretty good job so far. “The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, but grind exceedingly fine.”

Bible Thumper January 16, 2015 at 1:02 am

Hogwash. Wilkins in is driving up the defendants legal costs in the hope he will plea to a much reduced charge. Many innocent people do this to avoid the risk and expense of going to trial.

Slartibartfast January 16, 2015 at 3:44 pm

How do you know this?

Bible Thumper January 16, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Dept. of Justice
90% – 95% of all cases result in a plea bargain. The remaining ones result in trial or dismissal.
Harrell and Metts (though not accepted by the judge)not getting any prison time is evidence of the problem.

Slartibartfast January 17, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Hmm. Your argument WAS worth reading, but I’m not sure I agree.

William Costigan January 16, 2015 at 12:11 am

The Solicitor is not under fire from anyone that matters in the Upstate, not *even* the BJU crowd.

Yelsewh January 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

Walt Wilkins looks like a paedo.

It Happens January 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Normally children in foster care who have parents are allowed visitation-either supervised or unsupervised.

Wilkens Is a Control Freak January 17, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Wilkins has 2 weeks to drop the charges, or Wilkins loses his law license and is stripped of everything he owns.

Bible Thumper January 19, 2015 at 2:14 am

A pending felony charge. like from an open police investigation, usually can be held over your head without filing court charges until the statute of limitations runs, and that can be years.

TyroneMamaCollards January 21, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Walt is I guess Scotch-Irish so that accounts for the skin color. He is also a helluva nice guy. An overpass in Greenville was named after him because he rescued a family from drowning in the Bahamas, I heard. It doesn’t get any better than Walt.

help this family January 27, 2015 at 1:15 pm

I know Josh and his family personally. Leaving all politics aside. Josh has got short changed on this whole deal because of his ex-wife. She has done this game time and time again. Any women that had rather she her child sit in DSS custody over a lie has mental issues. This child is paying the price. I pray that the courts will put this to rest. I do support Josh.

kibulldogck February 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Charges dropped! Egg on the face of the solicitor, GPD, ex-wife, and all those legal-eagles who wanted to burn Josh at the stake after those initial news articles. As a friend of Josh and a dad myself I cannot imagine the hell he’s been through.


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