Less than a week before he was scheduled to stand trial in Bamberg, South Carolina on a host of child sex abuse charges, former Lowcountry County Councilman Kerry “Trent” Kinard has reportedly reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Kinard is scheduled to plead guilty in Greenville, South Carolina at 2:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday afternoon (December 7, 2022) to one count of first degree assault and battery.
All the other charges against him – and there were more than a dozen of them – will be dismissed.
Assuming S.C. circuit court judge Perry Gravely concurs, Kinard is set to receive negotiated plea of three-and-a-half years “home incarceration” with electronic monitoring – followed by a year and a half of probation with mandatory counseling.
That’s right … no jail time.
Frankly, I hope Gravely does not concur …
Kinard’s plea was negotiated between his attorneys – led by Bakari Sellers of the Strom Law Firm – and by the office of S.C. thirteenth circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins, which received this case based on a conflict referral from the office of S.C. second circuit solicitor Bill Weeks.
What led to this referral?
It’s not immediately clear … but Weeks’ office obviously has a history of flubbing high profile sex abuse cases.
“They’re sloppy down in the second circuit,” a source tracking the case told me.
Source familiar with the situation told me Weeks’ office became conflicted when it attempted to add a charge against Kinard based on a recent interview with a victim. Because this interview took place outside the presence of investigators, Weeks and his office made themselves witnesses to the case – and Sellers was prepared to call them to the stand.
This is a developing story … please check back for updates.
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.
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