Judge won't release tape of officer's shooting

Thursday, March 1, 2012 6:56 AM
Last updated 10:31 PM
  • Follow Aiken

AIKEN — A judge decided Thursday not to make public a video of the traffic stop that led to the shooting death of an Aiken police officer until after the trial of the suspect.



South Carolina 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge Jack Early said he wanted to ensure that Stephon Carter, 19, gets a fair trial in the December slaying of Aiken Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson.

Last month, Early granted a request for a temporary restraining order from defense attorney Carl B. Grant to keep the tape made from a dashboard camera from being released. Solicitor J. Strom Thurmond Jr. agreed with Grant’s motion.

On Thursday, Early asked whether there were any lawyers in the courtroom to represent interests of the news media.

After no one went forward, Early said he had examined the law and the facts of the case and had determined that a permanent restraining order should be granted until after the case is tried.

Carter was not at Thursday’s hearing. He is being held without bond at the Aiken County Detention Center on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Police say Carter was a passenger in Chevrolet Impala that was stopped the night of Dec. 20 by Officer Travis Griffin on Brandt Court in connection with a report of shots being fired at another location a few minutes earlier.

Griffin was joined at the scene by Richardson and Sgt. Tracy Seymour not long after the car was stopped. Authorities say Carter got out of the car with his hands in his pockets and then pulled out a .38-caliber Rossi revolver and fired. Griffin was hit first, in the chest. Richardson, shot in the abdomen and head, died later at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

After the hearing, Grant said the judge’s ruling was necessary to prevent prejudicing the opinions of future jurors, although he would not say the video was damaging to his case.

“We don’t want to try this case in the media,” Grant said.

Comments (8) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
TrulyWorried
15537
Points
TrulyWorried 03/01/12 - 10:21 am
5
0
I think such a tape should be

I think such a tape should be kept for court procedures and not for sensationalism for the gawkers. Such a terrible and tragic event does not have to be broadcast - paper or TV.

BamaMan
2557
Points
BamaMan 03/01/12 - 10:39 am
3
1
Ready to hear ARGUMENTS? What

Ready to hear ARGUMENTS? What the heck is there to argue over? Why in the world would anyone, especially a judge even CONSIDER releasing something like that? Cold. Kudos to Channel 6 for declining to broadcast even if the judge releases it.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/01/12 - 10:56 am
4
0
We don't need to see that

We don't need to see that tape; we need for that tape to help convict the person who took Officer Richarchson's life.

Frank I
1195
Points
Frank I 03/01/12 - 11:24 am
1
1
Kudos to Channel 6 for

Kudos to Channel 6 for declining to broadcast even if the judge releases it.

This of course after posting before and after pictures Scott Dean on their Facebook page a week or more after his conviction and the showing of his shaven head. Channel 6 is just as guilty of sensationalism as all the rest.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 03/01/12 - 12:29 pm
2
0
Showing Dean's shaven head,

Showing Dean's shaven head, while not a kind and compassionate thing to do, doesn't come close to equating to seeing a person gunned down.
They are a news reporting business, after all.

Frank I
1195
Points
Frank I 03/01/12 - 12:45 pm
1
0
My point is that their

My point is that their posting of the image of Dean's shaven head versus his original mugshot on the Facebook page was done well after the release, and their own display of the same image, with a caption inciting opinionated response. In the same vein, in regards to other media outlets, showing the actual video at this point would only be for the purpose of sensationalizing an already known and well publicized news story. The only purpose at this point to showing the video would be "ratings".

Sun_Dance
0
Points
Sun_Dance 03/01/12 - 01:44 pm
1
0
The Judge did the right thing

The Judge did the right thing by not allowing the tape to go public. We want this guy to get a fair trial and not have anything to stop this. He will get the fair trial and then suffer the consequences of his evil deed. People like him do not care how much suffering they cause. God Bless the families and friends of the two officers that were taken from all of us.

david jennings
624
Points
david jennings 03/01/12 - 08:49 pm
0
0
When my Father and Brother

When my Father and Brother died of a violent crime, we could'nt beat off channel 6 with a stick. While we were out making funneral arrangements the day after they died,we came home to find them there, cameras and all. Then at the funneral (Bellevue) they were right there. You better bekieve, they knew the judge would not release the footage.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs