Crime & Justice in the 8th Circuit
The Eighth Circuit Solicitor's Office, based in Greenwood, today released its 2015 review of cases and programs. Directed by Solicitor David Stumbo, of Laurens County, the prosecutors, investigators and staff of the Solicitor's Office have as their Mission, "to seek justice, fight for victims, and keep our families safe in the courtrooms of the four counties of the 8th Judicial Circuit."
The counties are Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens and Newberry.
The report says in the 3 years prior to Stumbo taking office, the conviction rate was 44%. Since then, the conviction rate is 81%. Stumbo created a circuit task force and joined Attorney General Alan Wilson in a statewide effort to fight criminal domestic violence. South Carolina is the #2 highest state in the nation in the rate of men killing women.
The report says there are more than 8,000 criminal cases pending in the 8th Circuit (4,757 in Laurens County, most of the 4 counties). In 2015, the Solicitor's Office reduced the backlog by 800 cases. Tempering justice with mercy, the 2015 report says the Solicitor's Office has created or manages:
--Solicitor's drug court program,
--Worthless check unit,
--Solicitor's veterans court program (est. Nov. 11, 2015).
Most of the 45 report's pages are news releases of major cases/trials/sentences from 2015. On Jan. 30, the Eighth Circuit Solicitor's Office announced the conviction for murder and life sentence of Michael Beaty Jr., of Clinton, for the 2013 strangulation death of Emily-Anna Asbill (the case is under appeal). Other Laurens County significant convictions were murder in Enoree, domestic assault in Laurens, murder in Waterloo, drug trafficking in Laurens, sexual assault of a teen in Laurens, and murder in Gray Court.
The complete report is attached.