Crime & Courts

Catherine Templeton Wayward Son Saga: Initial Hearing Canceled

What’s next in this case?

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Those of you who regularly follow our coverage know we try to provide as many details – and as much context – as possible in our reports. Why? Because we want our audience to be better informed.

When people get arrested, for example, we try to cover a host of different bases: The specific criminal charges filed, the probable cause which led to them being filed, the attendant statutes purportedly violated, the potential punishment, the bond granted, the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating, the prosecutorial agency responsible for trying the cases, the physical location of the defendant, whether they have an attorney representing them, what the attorney had to say about the case and when their first court hearing has been scheduled.

It’s a lot … but it’s important.

Also important? Providing our audience with as much additional information as we can gather from our network of sources – while reminding them that anyone accused of a crime is considered innocent until proven guilty.

Anyway, in our exclusive report two months ago about the arrest of 18-year-old Hampton Templeton – the son and former paid staffer of Republican congressional candidate Catherine Templeton – we noted that the first court hearing in this case had been scheduled for June 7, 2024.

Such a hearing could have been disastrous for Catherine Templeton, who is challenging second-term incumbent congresswoman Nancy Mace in an increasingly heated GOP primary. It would have provided a made-for-the-nightly-news story on the final day of early voting – and less than four days before Republican primary voters hit the polls next week (Tuesday, June 11, 2024).

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Templeton dodged a bullet, though. There was no hearing.

What happened?

According to our sources, Hampton Templeton’s attorney – Shaun Kent – reached an agreement with prosecutors in the office of S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe to waive this initial appearance. For those of you wondering why a Dorchester County prosecutor is handling a Charleston County case, Pascoe’s office inherited the Templeton matter after it was conflicted out by S.C. ninth circuit solicitor Scarlett Wilson.

So … was the agreement to waive this hearing some sort of special favor to Templeton?

It may look that way, but such agreements are routine in South Carolina’s court system – especially if defense attorneys know the rules of docket management. Basically, courts have an incentive not to waste time on perfunctory hearings, and if a defense attorney can demonstrate there is no pressing need for a defendant to make an initial appearance – excuses are issued without much fanfare.

Still, Templeton’s excusal from having to appear before a judge this week creates a perception problem for his mother’s campaign. And given that his previous criminal charge – which involved allegations of pointing and presenting a firearm – were recently expunged, the perception of favoritism for his wealthy, well-connected family is spreading like wildfire in the district.

Count on this media outlet to provide an update in the event Templeton does appear in court … and as we continue to investigate multiple other allegations involving Templeton.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

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 and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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