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New trial date set for suspended Marlboro County sheriff, deputy

Wesley Tingey

The trial of suspended Marlboro County Sheriff Charles Lemon and a deputy is now set for spring.

Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office says the trial is now set to begin with jury selection set to begin March 18.

Gov. Henry McMaster suspended Lemon in 2021, following charges that the sheriff had ordered Deputy David Cook to unlawfully use a TASER on a county inmate 19 months earlier. Bennettsville Police Chief Larry McNeil was named interim sheriff and still serves.

Lemon and Cook were charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. The indictment accuses the pair of using a TASER “at least two times” beyond the initial jolt to control Jarrell Johnson in his cell.

Johnson had been charged in an assault on his father and was later accused of assaulting Lemon.

Cook resigned from the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office and was later indicted with Lemon. Lemon has waited for the outcome of a misconduct trial that was supposed to begin Spt. 5. In August, the Attorney General’s office asked for the trial to be moved to January without providing a reason.

Johnson’s attorney had also asked for a speedy trial.