By: James | December 20, 2016

On December 14, 2016, the Georgetown County Probate Court approved a six-figure settlement for the benefit of the child of Valerie Harrington, a 36-year-old woman shot and killed by Georgetown County Sherriff’s Deputies on July 12, 2014.

 

  This settlement ends a wrongful death lawsuit against Georgetown County, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and three of its deputies filed by Reta Abbott, mother of Valerie Harrington and personal representative of Harrington’s estate.  The lawsuit was originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas for Georgetown County and was moved to the Charleston Division of the U.S. District Court of South Carolina.

 

  Plaintiff Reta Abbott is represented by James T. McBratney, Jr. and Holly H. Wall, both of...

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By: James | March 27, 2015

By   Wayne Drash , CNN

FAMILY PHOTO

Valerie Abbott Harrington adored her 3-year-old daughter, Lexi. It was Valerie’s mother, Reta Abbott, who called authorities on July 12 to seek help for Valerie when she threatened to harm herself.

The voice on the phone speaks in a soft, polite tone tinged with a few cracks from worry. Reta Abbott tells the 911 dispatcher that her daughter is posting suicidal thoughts on Facebook.

“I mean, she needs to be in a hospital,” the mother says.

Abbott called the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office in Litchfield Beach, South Carolina, at 4:57 p.m. on July 12. At times, the mother seems almost apologetic for seeking law enforcement’s help. The 911 operator responds with compassion: “All right, we’ll have...

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Tags: Police, wrongful death 

By: James | August 01, 2014

LEXINGTON, SC — A Lexington County jury late last week took two hours to deliberate before awarding a woman $1.6 million in actual damages in a   civil case in which she claimed she was hounded by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, strip-searched and tossed in jail on felony charges that were later dismissed.

The case of lawyer Kay Paschal, who won the verdict against Sheriff Leon Lott, involved a dispute over a dead Columbia businessman’s multimillion-dollar estate, issues of sheriff’s department jurisdiction and charges of exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Questions also arose about   whether one of Lott’s deputies was too personally close with heirs of the dead man.

Under S.C. law, sheriffs are responsible fo...

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By: James | June 20, 2014

The five men wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting a female jogger in Central Park more than 25 years ago have reportedly agreed to a settlement of close to $40 million.

The New York Times reports the agreement will provide the five exonerated plaintiffs, all black and Latino, approximately $1 million for each year they were behind bars.

The settlement, first reported on Thursday by the Times, follows a high-profile campaign promise made by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who pledged to reach a "swift settlement" to right the wrongs of the conviction once he took office.

In 1989, the five men -- all of whom were between 14 to 16 years of age at the time of their convictions -- were charged with the brutal rape of 28-year-old investm...

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By: James | June 10, 2014

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department is formally backing a proposal   being considered by the U.S. Sentencing Commission that would shorten the amount of time that federal drug offenders currently behind bars would have to spend in prison.

The proposal would apply only to nonviolent drug offenders and would be   expected to save taxpayers $2.4 billion . The U.S. Sentencing Commission, which already approved a proposal to lower certain drug sentencing guidelines, will vote next month on whether to make those changes retroactive.

“Under the department’s proposal, if your offense was nonviolent, did not involve a weapon, and you do not have a significant criminal history, then you would be eligible to apply for a reduced sent...

Category: Police 

Tags: drugs