Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Suspect in Aiken officer slaying waives extradition

Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Stephon M. Carter, 19, who was injured in a shootout with police, is brought into the courtroom for an extradition hearing in Augusta.
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 Stephon M. Carter is now in the hands of South Carolina authorities, after a brief appearance Tuesday in Richmond County Magistrate Court.

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Carter signs a form waiving his formal extradition to South Carolina after a brief conference with his attorney, Carl B. Grant (right).  Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Carter signs a form waiving his formal extradition to South Carolina after a brief conference with his attorney, Carl B. Grant (right).

Aiken County sheriff’s officers took custody of Carter at the Richmond County jail about an hour after his noon extradition hearing, sheriff’s Capt. Gene Johnson said.

Johnson called South Carolina authorities immediately after Carter waived formal extradition, clearing the way for him to face murder charges in the slaying of Aiken Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson.

“We had his stuff packed and ready to go,” Johnson said.

About 15 minutes before his extradition hearing was set to begin, Carter was wheeled into courtroom 2G, escorted by four Richmond County sheriff’s deputies.

Several Richmond County marshals moved chairs to make room at the defendant’s table for Carter’s wheelchair, where he sat handcuffed and shackled.

Carter, 19, had been under the care of physicians at Medical College of Georgia Hospital since Dec. 20, when police say he was wounded by police in a deadly shootout with Aiken public safety officers.

Police said Cart­er pulled a pistol and opened fire af­ter he was stopped in a black Chevrolet Impala on Brandt Court. Richardson was killed and Officer Travis Griffin was hit in the chest, but protected from serious injury by his bulletproof vest. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is in charge of the investigation.

Authorities have repeatedly declined to comment on Carter’s injuries. Other than his wheelchair, the only other sign of his bullet wound Tuesday was a length of clear plastic tubing that snaked its way from underneath his jumpsuit into a pouch at his side.

While everyone waited for the proceeding to begin, the courtroom hummed with quiet conversations of the dozen or so officers in attendance. A group of veteran lawmen, which included agents from SLED and the FBI, huddled in the back of the courtroom trading stories about other cases and other officers from the past. Carter sat largely ignored by the others, all except for a deputy who sat behind his wheelchair and watched the suspect intently.

Just before the hearing got under way, Carter’s maternal grandmother, Sarah Hickman, quietly slipped into the courtroom with two other family members. She sat and silently sobbed, while peering around the back of a tall deputy who stood in between her and her grandson.

Carter remained in his chair when Chief Magistrate Judge William Jennings III entered the room.

The defendant’s only words were a softly spoken “Stephon” to correct Jennings’ pronunciation of his first name and a quiet “yes, sir.”

After a brief whispered conference with his attorney, Carl B. Grant, of Orangeburg, S.C., Carter signed papers allowing his extradition to South Carolina, and the hearing was over.

“That concludes this matter,” Jennings said, and Carter was wheeled out of the courtroom.

J. Strom Thurmond Jr., the solicitor for South Carolina’s 2nd Judicial District, said Carter’s next opportunity to appear in court will be March 9.

“He doesn’t have to be there,” Thurmond said.

Carter’s attorney can represent him at the hearing, which amounts to a brief formal presentation of charges.

No formal indictment will be sought against Carter until SLED completes its investigation and presents it to his office, Thurmond said.

Comments (17) Add comment
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bdouglas
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bdouglas 01/03/12 - 01:44 pm
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Doesn't quite look as cocky

Doesn't quite look as cocky in this mugshot after the police put a bullet in him. Too bad they didn't have better aim...

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 01/03/12 - 02:14 pm
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I am reminded of the words

I am reminded of the words penned by Elton John in the song commemorating the death of his friend John Lennon:

"It's funny how one insect can damage so much grain..."

David Parker
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David Parker 01/03/12 - 02:22 pm
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just a sad situation that his

just a sad situation that his actions have brought. I can't say I wish him dead, but I also can't say that I wish for him to be around either if he committed the act with heartfelt malice.

my.voice
4726
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my.voice 01/03/12 - 03:03 pm
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These "children" are shown

These "children" are shown the shiny side of "gangsta", but nobody prepares them for this. This is a complete loss for everyone. Rather than figure out how to kill this kid, we need to reach out to this lost generation and bring them back.

drivenslow
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drivenslow 01/03/12 - 03:27 pm
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my.voice this loss is equal
Unpublished

my.voice this loss is equal to flushing a turd

drivenslow
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drivenslow 01/03/12 - 03:28 pm
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go ahead delete the comment
Unpublished

go ahead delete the comment you delete everyone of mine at this trash called a newspaper

stillamazed
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stillamazed 01/03/12 - 03:59 pm
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My.voice, I agree and while

My.voice, I agree and while we all post hateful comments everyone should remember that this young man has a family as well. Gang life has been glorified by Hollywood and record companies for years and we are seeing the effects of it. These young men need guidance at an early age, instead they are raised with street mentality that gets them dead or in prison.

DawgnSC69
257
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DawgnSC69 01/03/12 - 04:40 pm
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All come on people. Are we

All come on people. Are we going to give victim status to this low life scumbag? This thug deserves to die a slow and painful death. He and all of the thugs he hangs out with know right from wrong. They have no respect for themselves much less other innocent civilians and law enforcement.

Too bad our judicial system places more rights on these thugs than the victims and their families. Here's hoping for a speedy trial and death sentence. But I'm sure it'll be drawn out and we'll end up paying for his care in prison for the next 50+ years.

DawgnSC69
257
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DawgnSC69 01/03/12 - 04:44 pm
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Strom Jr, Please don't let

Strom Jr, Please don't let this be a long and drawn out process. And please seek the death penalty if all possible.

shenyse86
15
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shenyse86 01/03/12 - 04:59 pm
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Well said, My.voice.

Well said, My.voice.

my.voice
4726
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my.voice 01/03/12 - 06:04 pm
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@McDubbs: If he is treated

@McDubbs:
If he is treated like a dog, how is that going to help this mindset of "gangsta"? Its like the democratic mindset of taxing the rich, it doesn't change my bottom line one penny.

I'm not one for letting him free, but he is a symptom of a much larger issue here. And in prison, HE WILL BE TREATED LIKE A KING.

I recently sat on a jury on a federal drug bust. And they brought in BOY after BOY after BOY in shackles to testify against the guy. Its heartbreaking.

Its further heartbreaking for the Aiken family for I have NO idea what they will do to cope. Punish this kid? You HAVE to......but we needn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have GOT to reach this segment of the populous. Punishing the punk isn't going to change anything except where he sleeps and eats. Death penalty? Im against it as it sits now. It takes a decade or longer to extract justice, and this assuredly is no deterrent. Unfortunately, we are inches away from the Judicial branch of government RUNNING this country.

Peace-

mcdubbs
0
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mcdubbs 01/03/12 - 08:07 pm
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where is my comment it was

where is my comment it was good

Pu239
284
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Pu239 01/03/12 - 08:54 pm
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When you decide you are man
Unpublished

When you decide you are man enough to pull the trigger...you are man enough to stand for the punishment....NO QUARTER!

shrimp for breakfast
5422
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shrimp for breakfast 01/04/12 - 03:43 am
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I find it hard to even look

I find it hard to even look at his picture.
He has caused so much pain.

shrimp for breakfast
5422
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shrimp for breakfast 01/04/12 - 04:50 am
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Great post myfather15. I

Great post myfather15. I couldn't agree more.

CobaltGeorge
155163
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CobaltGeorge 01/04/12 - 08:08 am
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Good Morning

Good Morning America.

myfather15, it is always a pleasure reading a factual, common sense post like yours. There are so many walking among us that feel that individuals like him need to be saved, so sad.

PoliceDad
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PoliceDad 01/04/12 - 10:09 am
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There are alot of bleeding

There are alot of bleeding hearts, but we must remind ourselves that a serious crime was committed and must pay the ultimate price. We also have a bigger problem. Prison is too easy and our courts allow thugs like him to walk out with a bond "Give Me A Break" It is time the system must be changed.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 01/04/12 - 11:58 am
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There is so much pain here.

There is so much pain here. For the Richardson's and for this young man's family. I don't think I will ever get the mental image of Scotty Richardson's young, sobbing widow and his precious children out of my mind. I can only imagine the grandmother. America has a serious problem with the youth and the culture of this nation. I don't know if it will ever be restored.

madgerman
236
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madgerman 01/04/12 - 12:03 pm
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Well it would appear that our
Unpublished

Well it would appear that our "speedy" justice system has kicked in. Why does it take over two months to make a charge sheet? Thats the problem with our system, by the time he actually goes to court, everything about this murder will be forgotten by 95 percent of the public. If we really want to send a message to the killers among us then we should reintroduce the Electric chair and televise every time it is used. I would bet the first viewing would reduce murder by 95 percent.

DawgnSC69
257
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DawgnSC69 01/04/12 - 12:14 pm
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Right on Mad... Right in the

Right on Mad...
Right in the middle of the town square or court house televised.

Lizbeth
0
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Lizbeth 01/04/12 - 04:38 pm
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You are so right,

You are so right, Myfather15.. This dude lost any hope of being "saved" as soon as he shot and killed a man, a policeman at that. You simply DON'T get second chances after such an act. The most disgusting thing is he will be praised for being a cop killer in jail. To take a man's life in such a way is absolutely inacceptable. Im sorry to the Richardson family, I thought of his wife and children on Christmas day and wept. Those are the people I keep in my thoughts and prayers. This is the second cop killing in what..? 3 months? If they dont do something to send a message its just going to keep happening.

Will
75
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Will 01/05/12 - 12:38 am
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What disgusts me more than
Unpublished

What disgusts me more than what that man did is the overwhelming number of people who either defend him or try to put the blame on the system. All of you have gunpowder on your hands too as far as I'm concerned. There is no rehabilitating or treating the problem. We're at a point now in history where you show the criminal world there is no getting away with this any more. That's your cure. Cause and effect; action and reaction. I say televise his execution....

Lizbeth
0
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Lizbeth 01/05/12 - 02:19 pm
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Exactly! Enought is enough

Exactly! Enought is enough already. There's no rehabilitating someone who has absolute disreguard for human life.

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