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Repeat offender out on bond after Felony DUI crash

May 17, 2018

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – A man that was arrested in December of 2017 on charges that stemmed from multiple public reports that he was driving down Platt Springs Road in the wrong lane of traffic and weaving all across the road, is out on bond again after having a violent crash recently that caused him to be charged with Felony DUI involving great bodily harm. Joseph Edward “Trey” Swearingen III was released on a bond set by a judge of what was reported to be $31,640 after the crash that happened on Saturday. May 5th on Augusta Road near Oak Grove. 


Swearingen’s first arrest in December stemmed from multiple reports to law enforcement officers that the vehicle he was behind the wheel of was weaving all over the road and had crossed the center line multiple times. A BOLO, or be on the lookout, call went out and he was eventually stopped by the SCHP near the Springdale Town Hall on Platt Springs Road. After that arrest, he was allowed to plead to reckless driving during a March, 2018 agreement due to what was said to be extenuating circumstances surrounding the first arrest. In that case, although he was believed to be under the influence, he apparently was not under the influence of alcohol. Swearingen’s attorney called into question several key points regarding that arrest when that agreement was reached. 


In the latest wreck that happened around 9:30 a.m. on busy Augusta Road severely injuring someone, Swearingen was once again behind the wheel and apparently under the influence of an illegal substance. People who attended his bond hearing after that crash said that the judge who set the bond told the courtroom he believed the man was a danger to society and the public. There were stipulations however that he could drive to get back and forth to his job on SC Hwy 6 near Fish Hatchery Road at a well drilling company if he made bond, which he did. Now, he is back behind the wheel again. 


According to people we talked to who have a vested interest in this case, the people in the courtroom were shocked and appalled that this man was allowed to leave jail and has an opportunity to be back on the streets and be behind the wheel again. Although bond must be considered and cannot be punitive or punishment, the judge does have to consider the risk to the public when deciding on a bond amount. In the case of Swearingen, the parties who have been injured by his driving and apparent addiction, certainly believe he is still a great danger to the public.  




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