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Bond set for school board candidate

Monday, May 12, 2014 9:23 PM
Last updated Tuesday, May 13, 2014 1:16 AM
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Bond has been set for a Richmond County Board of Education candidate accused of beating a woman with a belt in a domestic incident.

James Swanagan Jr., 53, of Hephzibah, appeared in court Monday and was issued a bond of $5,000, according to Richmond County jail records. He was arrested late Friday on a charge of misdemeanor simple battery and remains in jail.

Swanagan is running for the Super Dis­trict 9 seat.

According to an incident report, a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy was conducting an area check in the 3700 block of Fairington Drive about 8 p.m. Friday when he noticed Swanagan holding a 29-year-old woman by her hair and beating her with a belt. Swanagan let go of her when the deputy stopped, the report said.

The woman told police that she had stopped by the house to pick up a 13-year-old boy. She said Swanagan shoved her to the ground when she wouldn’t exchange pleasantries and began beating her, according to the report.

Swanagan told police that the woman insulted his fiancée and that he began to reprimand her for using vulgar language toward him. He admitted to hitting her first, according to the report.

Deputies noted welts on the woman’s upper left leg.

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