SC

Eutawville Police Shooting: Murder Rap Doesn’t Stick

WHITE POLICE CHIEF BEATS CHARGE … PLEADS GUILTY TO LESSER OFFENSE || By FITSNEWS || We weren’t in Eutawville, S.C. back in May 2011 when 54-year-old Bernard Bailey (a black man) allegedly stormed into the office of town police chief Richard Combs (a white man) to complain about his daughter getting a ticket for a…

WHITE POLICE CHIEF BEATS CHARGE … PLEADS GUILTY TO LESSER OFFENSE

|| By FITSNEWS || We weren’t in Eutawville, S.C. back in May 2011 when 54-year-old Bernard Bailey (a black man) allegedly stormed into the office of town police chief Richard Combs (a white man) to complain about his daughter getting a ticket for a busted vehicle tail light.

So we have no way of knowing what transpired between these two men … and Combs wasn’t wearing a camera so …

All we know is Bailey was shot twice in the chest by Combs outside of the office following a scuffle.

In the intervening years, several things have happened …

First, the town settled a wrongful death case brought by Bailey’s family for $400,000.  Second – and perhaps most importantly – a U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) investigation concluded in March of 2013 that Combs did not violate Bailey’s civil rights during the incident.

It was surprising, then, when S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe decided – in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri riots – to charge Combs with murder last December.

Or maybe it wasn’t surprising …

Either way, Combs is getting off on the murder rap …

According to The (Orangeburg, S.C.) Times and Democrat, the former police chief pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in office related to the shooting.  On that charge he’s getting a year of house arrest (with electronic monitoring) and five years of probation.

No word yet on how the verdict fits in with S.C. governor Nikki Haley‘s vice presidential candidacy … err, “equality agenda.”

***

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17 comments

Death Penalty for tail-light September 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm

#fatcoplivesmattermost

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Tazmaniac September 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm

I think he just used the tail light as an excuse to commit suicide, what a coward.

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Bible Thumper September 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Why would anyone need a tail light in Eutawville?

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Speak D Truth September 3, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Never should have been charged. Should have never been tried a second time. The threats of a third trial should have never happened.

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CorruptionInColumbia September 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm

This case underscores one of the great injustices of our “justice” system which doesn’t only or necessarily apply to this case. Like many prosecutors who might have loftier political ambitions, Pascoe seemed to want to make a name for himself on this case. The State apparently didn’t have a very strong case, as evidenced by two hung juries. Even so, Pascoe was on board to spend more taxpayer time, money, and whatever other resources to bring this case to trial for a third time. Pascoe got his “victory”, it would appear, because his vict, er, the defendant was either fatigued and/or (very likely) had exhausted all of his financial resourced in the first two trials. Of course, The State has a compatatively “bottomless” budget of time, money, and mental/emotional resources

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CorruptionInColumbia September 3, 2015 at 3:57 pm

I would imagine the Chief of such a small town probably doesn’t make a lot of money to start with. If not corrupt, he likely would not have tremendous financial resources to put into an adequate defense. Two (for that matter, even one) trial and expenditures on a legal defense can easily wipe out the present and potential future assetts of most people. I have long marveled at how a person could be destroyed with a frivolous criminal charge or lawsuit. You don’t need to have an ironclad case, just enough to keep him or her in court for a while and presto, their savings, home, and everything else vanishes.

I recall a few years ago when the prosecutor in LexCo tried a police chief’s shakey CDV case three (I believe) times, getting a hung jury in all three and was considering going for round four.
Thankfully, for whatever reason, I believe he decided against further pers, er, prosecution in that case.

Perhaps it is time for the Legislature to enact a law that if you are tried once and it results in a hung jury or other mistrial not the the fault of sabotage by the defense, The State MUST pay for any and all defense expenditures resulting from prosecutorial decisions to go forward with additional trials in those matters. Heck, this might not be a bad idea in any trial not resulting in conviction. Funding for this might be a sticky wicket, but I have heard some really good creative sutions for that, also.

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Speak D Truth September 3, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Reeks of prosecutorial misconduct. The plea should be overturned as involuntary and coerced. How many cases get tried for a third time? Pascoe should take a lesson from the prosecutor in Charlotte. That case should have never been tried either but at least they knew when to throw in the towel. Pascoe got a conviction for social justice not criminal justice.

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nitrat September 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm

The town that was stupid enough to hire Combs settled in a wrongful death case.
Someone, including a judge who had to approve the settlement, must have thought Combs did something wrong with what went down with Bailey.

My feeling is we should charge people who kill people with homicide and let a jury decide if the evidence and facts meet the criteria for self-defense, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter or murder.
That should take away some of the incentive of grandstanding elected prosecutors to overcharge.

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Scrappy September 3, 2015 at 10:01 pm

A judge would not have to approve a settlement. This is done between the SC insurance reserve fund appointed attorneys and the plantiffs attorneys. Anything that involves a black victim or black employee suing gets settled. That’s just how we roll in SC now.

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2413 September 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Have an interaction with any town and Sue.. They will likely settle. A past town I worked for had a policy to settle out of court any suit instead of paying the legal fees. That is common in middle to small sized towns where the lawyer is on contract rate instead of full time salary. $400,000 give or take is about standard cost of legal fees to pay to defend a wrongful death suit. This is basically a town saying here we were going to spend this anyways….. I’ve always held that settling all suits looks bad as you just made my point, buy alot of towns work this way.

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jimbobcooter September 3, 2015 at 3:37 pm

black lives splatter ?

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The Colonel September 3, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Pascoe is playing to his (Democratic) base. This was never about civil rights and always about a couple of hot headed rednecks.

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Bible Thumper September 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm

#taillightsmatter

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Guido Sarducci September 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Gotta call bullshit on this one….

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Robert LeBruce September 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

This Bernard whomever (black white or purple skinned, what have you ) were that my relative & he was gunned down by that asshole (I don’t call him a cop, he doesn’t earn the right) I would scream bloody murder every night and day requiring his physical being go to prison. And not a club fed either
I mean this is why the thin blue line has got to be addressed
WANNA solve the problem. Equip every citizen with a camera they can wear 24/7 and put the PO po on notice. They are being filmed
If you want the cops to act right. Video cams for all
Then watch the police do a 180 degree turnaround

Cops matter. But citizens pay the taxes that pay the cops.
Start requiring more for your money.

Truth BOMB.
Dropped.

I’m no police apologists. That turkey should be doing time
He killed an innocent man.

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2413 September 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Someone I know really well was charged with a very very shaky cdv while an officer. The moment he asked for a jury trial the solicitors office threatened with adding a misconduct in office charge. (Basically telling him if you use your constitutional right to a fair trial we will stack on charges to up the Anny..)

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