Death sentence sought for alleged cop-killer

  • Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012 11:36 p.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 2:10 p.m.

The Second Circuit Solicitor’s Office has filed notice that they are seeking the death penalty for alleged cop-killer Stephon M. Carter.

Carter, who turned 20 Monday, is charged with the Dec. 20 murder of Aiken Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson and the attempted murder of Public Safety Officer Travis Griffin.

Solicitor J. Strom Thurmond Jr. filed the notice with Carter and his attorney Aaron Walsh.

It is likely that Walsh will be removed from the case, as the lead counsel for capital cases in South Carolina must have a minimum of five years experience trying felony criminal cases in order to be certified.

State law requires an experienced attorney and that the South Carolina Supreme Court designate a single judge to handle all pre-trial motions and hearings.

“The Notice of Intent speaks for itself,” said Thurmond when asked for comment. “We do not have any comment on the facts of the case.”

On the night of the murder, Aiken Public Safety received a call of a potential drive-by shooting shortly before 9 p.m. on Teague Street in Aiken. Officer Griffin began following a black Impala, eventually activating his blue lights and pulling the car over near Pace’s Run.

Carter sat in the front passenger seat of the vehicle with two others in the vehicle.

In a February bond hearing, Thurmond described the events while referring to a video from an in-car camera.

Public Safety Sgt. Tracy Seymour and Richardson arrived at the scene, Thurmond said, and Carter was asked to exit the vehicle and walked to the rear of the Impala.

“About 3 minutes and 30 seconds into the video, Mr. Carter has both of his hands in his pockets. He is asked by Public Safety personnel to remove his hands from his pockets, and, at that point, he pulls a .38 caliber Rossi revolver from his right pocket and shoots Officer Travis Griffin directly in the chest,” Thurmond stated at the hearing.

Carter then allegedly ran to the right of the Impala, fired several more rounds, continued running and ran out of his shoes and socks.

Richardson was shot in the abdomen, as well as fatally shot in the head, according to a testimony in February.

Carter was captured after being pursued by Officers Chris Lind and Oliver Hadden. Officer Lind shot Carter in the buttocks, an injury that still causes Carter to use a colostomy bag.

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