Carl Lamont Brandon, 39, is being held at the Columbia County jail on charges that include shoplifting, fleeing and attempting to elude police and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to jail records.
Brandon was arrested Oct. 8 after an employee of Walmart on Bobby Jones Expressway spotted him pocket a pair of headphones and walk out without paying, according to a Columbia County sheriff’s report. The employee pursued the shoplifter into the parking lot and saw him leave in a blue sport utility vehicle.
Minutes later, a sheriff’s deputy spotted Brandon and tried to stop him on Bobby Jones Expressway. Police say Brandon sped away across the Lowe’s parking lot and behind Kmart, where he was cornered in a dead-end, a police report states.
The deputy found the missing headphones nearby and a Hi-Point 9 mm pistol concealed under a seat, the report said.
Brandon had been on parole for about 11 months, according to state Department of Corrections records. He was serving a 45-year sentence in the March 1990 shooting of Richmond County sheriff’s Deputy David James.
Brandon, who was 16 at the time, shot James five times – once in the temple and four times in the back – as the deputy was retrieving rain gear from the trunk of his police cruiser. James lost an eye and kidney but still works as a sheriff’s training sergeant.
He said he was aware of Brandon’s recent arrest, but declined to offer comment Tuesday.
District Attorney Ashley Wright said Brandon had waived his right to a parole violation hearing.
“He basically stipulated that he had committed an act that violates his parole,” she said.
Because his new charges are nonviolent in nature, Wright said the parole board will likely categorize them as a “low level of severity,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be going back to prison.
“The fact that he is out committing other offenses with a gun in his possession does not bode well,” Wright said.
“Anybody that shoots a law enforcement officer is someone we are going to pay attention to,” she said. “He will get the recognition of a violent felon who has reoffended not too long after he was released from custody.”