Suspect in Aiken officer slaying gets lawyer

 The family of Stephon M. Carter has hired trial lawyer Carl B. Grant as a defense attorney, according to a statement from Grant’s firm, which has offices in Columbia and Orangeburg, S.C.

Police said Carter was arrested Dec. 20 after he initiated a gun battle with Aiken Public Safety Department officers after a traffic stop on Brandt Court in Aiken.

Police reports said that Carter fired at least two shots, killing Master Public Safe­ty Officer Scotty Rich­ardson and hitting Officer Travis Griffin in the chest. Griffin was protected from serious injury by his bulletproof vest.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has obtained warrants for murder and attempted murder against Carter, who remains at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, recovering from a gunshot wound.

Grant was traveling to Augusta for an initial visit with his client Wednesday.

“Naturally, I want to recapture the presumption of innocence in a case like this,” which can inflame the public’s emotions, Grant said. “Every citizen is guaranteed a right to a fair trial.”

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