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Crime & Courts

From ‘Deputy Of The Year’ To Defendant

Former Kershaw County cop charged with assault …

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A former law enforcement officer who once made arrests is now a criminal defendant himself. Agents of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) arrested Johnathan Lewis Goldsmith, 38, of Blythewood, S.C. and charged him with third degree assault and battery.

Goldsmith was named the Kershaw County Sheriff Foundation’s “2019 Deputy of the Year.” But his career took a different direction the following year. Investigators said a suspect wasn’t following instructions during a routine booking at the Kershaw County detention center on May 24, 2020. The suspect kicked Goldsmith in the groin area.

Goldsmith allegedly responded with two blows to the abdomen, sending the suspect crashing to the floor.



Goldsmith was fired from the sheriff’s office in November 2020. On August 26, 2021, the S.C. fifth circuit solicitor’s office asked SLED to investigate the matter – which it did. Goldsmith was arrested and booked at the Kershaw County detention center. The fifth circuit – which referred the case for investigation – will prosecute him.

As with all cases, Goldsmith is considered innocent until proven guilty by the criminal justice system, or until such times 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 may be filed against him. 



(Via: SLED)



Mark Powell (Provided)

J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at



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1 comment

Observer February 8, 2023 at 3:20 pm

This sounds like absolute chickenshit by SLED, the 5th Circuit Solicitor, or whomever. Yes, this Deputy has a past of frequent questionable use of force incidents and charges for some of those sound reasonable. That said, if the prisoner kicked him in the nuts, he was totally justified in retaliating as he did. I wish I could be the judge or be on the jury in that case. Is it any wonder that criminals are becoming more violent towards police and others when agencies like SLED teach them that they should fear no consequences for such behavior? How would Agent Dequan Smith react if someone kicked him in the nuts?


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