SC

Suspect Sought In South Carolina Courthouse Knife Attack

How did she get in, though? And how did she get away?

Sheriff’s deputies in Richland County, South Carolina are searching for a black woman in connection with a knife attack that took place at the county courthouse earlier this month.

Wait … earlier this month?

Why is this newsworthy now?

Because mainstream media outlets in the Palmetto State capitol previously (and erroneously) reported that a suspect was in custody in connection with this attack – which took place two weeks ago on the fourth floor of the Richland County courthouse (at 1701 Main Street in downtown Columbia, S.C.).

Those reports turned out to be fake news.

According to the office of Richland County sheriff Leon Lott (whose deputies are responsible for providing security at three main county courthouse facilities in the county), they are seeking 27-year-old Latasha Boyd on charges of kidnapping, first degree assault and battery and carrying a concealed weapon into a public building.

(Click to view)

(Via: Richland County Sheriff’s Office)

Boyd (above) allegedly smuggled a knife into the courthouse on March 10, 2022. She later wielded the blade during an assault on a court official.

“I was coming back from the restrooms and going back to my office,” the victim said in a statement provided to deputies. “I felt someone grab me in a choke hold from behind. I felt their other hand attempting to hit or hurt me in some way. Instinctually I pushed her away with my left elbow. I would estimate it was that it was several seconds that she had me by the neck.”

“I’m not going to f*cking prison,” Boyd yelled during the incident, according to a witness who disembarked from an elevator as the event was unfolding.

After the witness – assistant attorney general Jerrod Fussnecker – was able to escort the victim to safety, he heard Boyd express regret that she did not use the knife to stab the victim.

“I should have stabbed her deep (and) good,” Boyd said, according to Fussnecker.


According to my sources, the victim of this attack has not returned to work following the incident – believing (correctly, it would appear) that the courthouse is unsafe.

In a statement provided to this news outlet on Thursday by major Maria Yturria of the Richland County sheriff’s department, sheriff Lott was said to be “aware of and addressing the security breach that occurred on March 10, 2022.”

“Security of the Richland County courthouse is a joint effort between the Richland County clerk of court and the sheriff’s department,” Yturria said. “All equipment and maintenance of the building is handled by the clerk of court and the sheriff’s department provides the manpower for security.  As a result of the incident some equipment upgrades and changes have been recommended.”

“The sheriff’s department will continue to request security enhancements so that incidents like this may be prevented in the future,” Yturria added.

Sources at the courthouse have told me security concerns have been raised with county leaders on multiple occasions in the past – to no avail. Specifically, concerns have been raised about a lack of manpower and outdated security equipment.

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“We asked about cameras in the courthouse and were told that it’s a (money) issue, that county council would not approve (or) give us the money to have the cameras installed,” one source who works in the building told me.

The source also lamented the lack of notification provided to employees in the aftermath of the incident … as well as the inaccuracy of the information that was eventually provided.

“What is really concerning to me is the fact that courthouse employees learned of this incident by word of mouth – no mass email was initially sent out by the clerk’s office alerting all employees to it,” the source said.

“Screw Lott owing the public an explanation,” the source continued. “What about the employees who work in the courthouse?!?! We were told that the woman WAS arrested. And now you are telling me that she wasn’t?!?!”

Indeed … and that failure, like the failure of deputies to keep the woman from bringing a knife into the courtroom in the first place, is totally inexcusable.

Count on this news outlet to keep readers up to speed on the status of the investigation into this attack. Also, count on us to continue investigating the security deficiencies at this highly trafficked courthouse.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Via: FITSNews)

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. Oh, he also has LOTS of hats … but has given them up for Lent this year.

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BANNER VIA: Will Folks/ FITSNews


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