On the afternoon of March 10, 2022, a longtime employee of the Richland County, South Carolina clerk of court was briefly abducted and held at knifepoint on the fourth floor of the county courthouse in downtown Columbia, S.C.
The attack prompted statewide scrutiny of security policies at courthouses across the Palmetto State. It also prompted scrutiny of mainstream media outlets in the Midlands region of the state, several of which erroneously reported that the attacker – 29-year-old Latasha Boyd – had been apprehended and arrested following this attack.
That turned out to be “fake news.”
Despite witness accounts attesting to the abduction, Boyd was allowed to walk out of the courthouse without being arrested. She was not apprehended until March 31, 2022 – three weeks after the attack. So to recap: Boyd smuggled a knife into the courthouse, used it to abduct and hold a court employee against her will – screaming “I’m not going to f*cking prison” as she did – and was allowed to walk out of the building unmolested despite telling a prosecutor she wished she had “stabbed her (victim) deep and good.”
Unreal, right? Right … but that’s just the first part of this story.
The survivor of this attack – Teresa Cribb of Lexington County, S.C. – filed a lawsuit last fall against the county alleging “neglect, recklessness, failure to follow security procedures, and unconscionable misconduct” on the part of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD), whose deputies are responsible for securing the courthouse.
That suit is still pending …
As for Boyd, she was charged with first degree assault and battery, kidnapping and possessing a weapon during a violent crime.
Was she held accountable for her crime? Of course not …
This is South Carolina, people … where the so-called “justice” system is all about serving violent offenders – not the victims they terrorize. It is not a justice system, it is a re-victimization factory – a corrupt, political cabal that continues churning out patently unjust, unfathomably outlandish outcomes that diminish public safety and erode public faith in our institutions.
The sheer insanity of Boyd’s case is yet another chapter in this escalating epidemic of injustice.
On March 29, 2023 – a little over a year after the courthouse attack – Boyd pleaded guilty to first degree assault. As part of the plea deal, the kidnapping and weapons charges brought against her by the office of S.C. fifth circuit solicitor Byron Gipson were dropped. S.C. circuit court judge Kirk Griffin sentenced her to ten years – which he suspended to five years of probation.
Is that justice? Absolutely not …
But Boyd was just getting warmed up. Within a week of being placed on probation, she was arrested in Greenville, S.C. On April 5, 2023, she was booked at the Greenville County detention center on a charge of driving under a suspended license. The following day, she was further charged by prosecutors in the office of S.C. thirteenth circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins with possession of a stolen vehicle.
Why wasn’t she immediately violated? Or at the very least held without bond?
Good questions …
Two months ago – on August 20, 2023 – Boyd was arrested again, this time charged with disorderly conduct. The following day – August 21, 2023 – she was arrested and charged with second degree burglary in connection with a break-in on Pettigru Street in downtown Greenville.
And just last month – on September 8, 2023 – she was arrested yet again on an animal torture charge.
That’s five arrests – all of them occurring within six months of her being released on probation for a crime that frankly should have landed her behind bars for several years.
“All without the system catching on,” an attorney following the case told me.
You know, I really don’t enjoy reprising my role as a broken record on this issue … repeating the same things over and over from dozens of previous pieces … but this is too important to ignore. At every step of this story, South Carolina’s police, prosecutors and judges have spectacularly failed the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve.
They have failed them repeatedly, calamitously … dangerously.
Seriously, it’s a miracle no one died in connection with this story … although sadly, I suspect if we just give our “justice” system just little more time to accommodate this violent criminal, it is bound to happen.
If I have said it once I have said it a million times: When people show you who they really are, believe them. And while it seems abundantly clear Boyd’s case involves mental illness and a disadvantaged upbringing, none of that mitigates the clear and present danger she poses to the public.
Whatever made her a danger to those around her, a danger to those around her she remains … and will remain until someone in the justice system has the balls to hold her accountable for her actions.
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 (soon to be eight) children.
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