A part-time municipal judge for several rural municipalities in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in rural Chesterfield county on Saturday, according to arrest records obtained by this news outlet.
Cody T. Mitchell serves as municipal court judge for Bethune, Bishopville, Jefferson, Hartsville and McBee, S.C.
On Saturday, May 8, 2021, Mitchell was arrested by officer Robert W. Webster of the S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) and charged with driving under the influence and transporting alcohol in a motor vehicle with the seal broken (a.k.a. “open container”). Mitchell was released from the Chesterfield county detention center on his own recognizance the following afternoon (Sunday, May 9, 2021).
In addition to his work as a judge, Mitchell is a partner in the law firm of Lucas, Warr, White and Mitchell in Hartsville, S.C. The lead partner in that firm? Sitting S.C. House speaker Jay Lucas, one of the most powerful elected officials in the Palmetto State.
Several of my sources have shared some pretty incendiary speculation as it relates to the arrest of Mitchell – a native of Bethune and a resident of Harstville. Some have even suggested his arrest was “a set up” intended to influence local politics.
Specifically, my sources tell me there is a long-running feud involving one of Mitchell’s intimates in Chesterfield county who works in the office of the S.C. fourth circuit solicitor – and that Mitchell may have been “caught in the crossfire” of this ongoing bad blood.
“He was leaving someplace he shouldn’t have been,” one source told me. “I’ll leave it at that.”
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Others have said there might have been a “domestic motivation” for what transpired, although they declined to elaborate on what they meant by that suggestion.
Whatever happened, it sounds like yet another small town South Carolina soap opera is just getting warmed up …
Stay tuned … I plan on doing some digging into the circumstances surrounding Mitchell’s arrest, which lit up the FITSNews tip line over the weekend. Oh, and as with anyone accused of committing a crime, Mitchell is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges that have been filed against him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats.
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