Former Florence county sheriff Kenney Boone was arrested on Monday evening in connection with a domestic violence incident. Sources familiar with the situation tell us the disgraced ex-law man could also face a cruelty to animals charge after he allegedly struck a cat with a baseball bat during his fit of rage.
Deputies with the Florence county sheriff’s office – the law enforcement agency Boone led for nearly two decades – were first to respond to the drama, which unfolded at the suburban Florence, S.C. home Boone shares with his wife Anna Boone and their family.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Anna Boone and her children hid in a closet inside the house while one of her daughters escaped the residence and called Florence county chief deputy Glen Kirby – one of the candidates who is running to replace Boone as sheriff in this year’s elections.
According to our sources, Boone was transported to the Darlington county, S.C. detention center following his arrest to avoid any potential conflicts of interest given his lengthy tenure as sheriff of Florence county.
A spokesman with the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed Boone’s arrest on Monday evening.
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“SLED was asked by Florence County sheriff to assist in dealing with an incident involving former Sheriff Kenney Boone,” agency spokesman Tommy Crosby said in a statement. “Boone has been arrested and taken to Darlington county jail. More information will be released when it becomes available.”
Boone’s latest legal problems come less than a month after he resigned his office – having pleaded guilty to one count of felony embezzlement and one count of common law misconduct in office following a lengthy public corruption investigation. That inquiry was led by SLED and prosecuted by the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.
A Republican, Boone was first elected sheriff of Florence in 2004. He was reelected in 2008, 2012 and 2016, and prior to his guilty plea was seeking a fifth-term in 2020.
The 53-year-old was was sentenced to five years probation on those charges – a sentence which could now revert to jail time in the event he is convicted of (or pleads guilty to) charges related to this latest incident.
Sources close to Boone recently told us he has been struggling again with alcohol – an addiction which presaged nearly all of his recent issues (including recurring problems with his health).
This news outlet began tracking Boone’s fall from grace back in November 2017 – when we exclusively reported that his lengthy absence from work that fall was due to the fact that he was receiving treatment for complications stemming from his alcohol addiction.
In August 2018, this news outlet reported exclusively on threats made by Boone against county finance director Kevin Yokim. In December of that year, we exclusively reported that Boone was facing scrutiny at the county level related to the alleged misuse of certain drug seizure funds.
Boone was indicted by Wilson’s office last April on multiple misconduct in office and embezzlement charges – and further indicted last November on campaign finance charges. By statute, Boone was suspended from office upon his initial indictment last April.
S.C. governor Henry McMaster appointed former sheriff William Barnes to serve in his place. Barnes will serve until a new sheriff is chosen in November.
Stay tuned … we will be updating our readers on this story as it continues to develop.
UPDATE: The warrants issued for Boone’s arrest.