Friday, Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard continued to praise his staff for the work they are doing during these unprecedented times. The legal system has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic just like the rest of the nations work however, its operations are so crucial, that system has continued with modified operations despite the virus' impact.
Despite primarily holding court virtually since April, they have been working hard to be as productive as possible. However, during this time, throughout the circuit, they have handled over 300 criminal court matters, including 165 guilty pleas. They are currently developing a safety plan in coordination with Court Administration, their chief administrative judge, and the Lexington County clerk of court in an effort to resume in-person court and trials in the near future. The safety of their employees, court officials, and the public is their number one priority.”
Last week, several serious offenders were sentenced to lengthy, active prison sentences for offenses throughout the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
Andrew Blake Stacy, 25, was sentenced to ten (10) years for his role in an Armed Robbery and Trafficking Methamphetamine in Lexington County.
On New Year’s Eve 2018, Stacy was driving a stolen vehicle out of Richland County when he came upon a husband and wife who were broken down on the side of Calvary Church Road in Lexington. Stacy pointed a gun at them and stole their motorcycle. Deputies with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene. Stacy attempted to flee on foot, however, he was tracked and apprehended by K-9 officers.
While out on bond for the robbery incident, deputies with the Lexington County Sherriff’s Department encountered Stacy riding on a stolen motorcycle and speeding near the 100 block of Sutton Road in Gaston. Stacy led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed the motorcycle. Deputies found over 10 grams of methamphetamine along with a handgun in Stacy’s possession.
Stacy has prior convictions for drugs, weapons, and thefts. This case was prosecuted by Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Melanie Darko.
Tyrese Dashawn Johnson, 21, was sentenced to fifteen (15) years for two counts of Burglary Second Degree – Violent in Lexington and Saluda counties. Johnson was also sentenced concurrently to thirteen (13) years for his role in an Armed Robbery and ten (10) years on an Escape charge. In November of 2019, Johnson and a co-defendant broke into local businesses in Saluda and Lexington counties. During the incidents, the pair drove a burgundy Ford Taurus and the same clothing. Multiple law enforcement agencies were able to link Johnson and his co-defendant to the burglaries by video surveillance. Law enforcement also captured Johnson’s co-defendant running from the scene of one of the burglaries. Both individuals ultimately confessed.
Johnson was arrested at his residence for the burglaries on November 28, 2019, by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. During transport to the Lexington County Detention Center, Johnson escaped from the patrol vehicle. Despite an extensive search for Johnson, law enforcement was unable to locate him.
On December 11, 2019, Johnson and a few others planned an armed robbery by luring the victim over to a residence in the Gilbert area of Lexington County. During the robbery, the victim was held at gunpoint, struck with the weapon, and a gun was placed at his head while demands were made for his personal property. The victim was eventually allowed to leave the residence and immediately reported the robbery to law enforcement.
Johnson has prior convictions for theft, drugs, burglaries, and a weapon charge. These cases were investigated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Ridge Spring Police Department, and the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office. Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Sutania A. Fuller handled the prosecution of this case.
Robert Lewis Beard, II, 40, was sentenced concurrently to thirty (30) years for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor in the First Degree and twenty (20) years for two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor in the Second Degree for the sexual abuse of three minors in Edgefield, Saluda, Aiken, and Spartanburg counties.
Beard was a Corporal at the Aiken County Detention Center at the time of his arrest.
The investigation revealed that Beard sexually abused three minor children for years. Law enforcement became aware of the abuse when one of Beard’s victims made the disclosure following a presentation at a middle school about body safety hosted by the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office.
This case was investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, commonly known as SLED. The Aiken County Solicitor’s Office handled the prosecution of this case along with Eleventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Erik Drylie.