A Greenville County South Carolina woman recently filed a lawsuit claiming she was arrested and charged with a crime she didn’t commit — and police refused for weeks to look at her cell phone with evidence that would absolve her from the crime, according to the lawsuit.
On April 2, Virginia King filed the lawsuit against Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville County, and Greenville County deputies Joseph Hayden and Andrew Moates, who investigated an armed robbery at 9 Security Drive in Greenville on Feb. 22, 2019.
The victim of the crime told Moates and Hayden that two unknown African American individuals had robbed and beaten him with a gun, according to the lawsuit.
On April 3, 2019, deputies interviewed King about her knowledge of the robbery based on the fact that she had lived in the neighborhood where the crime occurred five years prior, according to the lawsuit
During the interview, King tried to give deputies her cell phone, which contained records of her GPS location on the day of the crime. She told them that she had “zero involvement” in the February armed robbery and her phone proved this, the lawsuit said.
However, deputies arrested King and charged her with armed robbery and attempted murder, according to the lawsuit.
On April 3, 2019, King was booked at the Greenville County Detention Center.
On the day of her arrest, she gave her cell phone to police and urged them to search her phone to show her whereabouts on the day of the crime.
Greenville County Sheriff’s Office investigators did not produce a copy of King’s phone until April 18, 2019, according to the lawsuit.
On April 18, 2019, Moates wrote in his report that the likeness of King being involved had “greatly diminished,” the lawsuit said.
However, King wasn’t released from jail until April 23,2019.
The state dismissed charges against King on May 3, 2019, but she suffered financial and emotional damages as a result of the arrest, according to the lawsuit. King lost her job while she was in jail and struggled to find a decent job after she got out.
King is suing the sheriff’s office, the county, and deputies for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
King had did not have a criminal record in Greenville County, according to online court documents.
Greenville, South Carolina attorneys Daniel J. Farnsworth and Lauren Brown are representing King in the lawsuit.
In February, two Greenville County deputies were arrested and charged with separate cases. 29-year-old Ryan A. Gibson, of Greer, South Carolina, was charged with third-degree assault and battery, misconduct, and misconduct in office.
Christopher Jamal Abercrombie was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, first-degree burglary, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and misconduct in office.
Abercrombie, a former deputy, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman while on duty in October.
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