COLUMBIA, S.C. – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that a Marlboro County grand jury has indicted Marlboro County Sheriff Charles Lemon and former Deputy David Andrew Cook. Both are charged with Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature and Misconduct in Office.
The indictments allege that on or about May 3, 2020, Sheriff Lemon ordered then-Deputy Cook to deploy his taser on Jarrel Lee Johnson at the Marlboro County Detention Center and unlawfully continued to activate the taser at least two times after the initial taser deployment to subdue the suspect while inside the jail. The indictments allege that the assault was likely to produce great bodily injury or death. One of the indictments against Deputy Cook states that he deployed his taser into Johnson’s chest and leg.
Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature is a felony with a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Common Law Misconduct in Office is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Because of the indictments, Governor McMaster suspended Sheriff Lemon from office and will appoint an interim sheriff. Cook is no longer employed in law enforcement.