Lexington, SC 06/18/2022 (Paul Kirby) – A Gilbert man, who has a lengthy record that dates to the late 1990s, has been arrested again and charged with multiple counts of assault. Michael Eugene Bryant has been charged in the past with assault, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, several counts of manufacturing and distributing drugs, and kidnapping among other things.
According to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department’s website, Bryant was taken into custody last Thursday and charged with 2 counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, one count of possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and one count of resisting arrest. He currently is being held in the Lexington County Detention Center on a $600,000 bond.
Bryant’s issues with the law began in 1998. In May of that year, he was charged with manufacturing and distributing Ice or Crank and driving under suspension. He served 513 days in jail and when his case came to trial, the judge sentenced him to time served plus a $25,000 fine. Because he was deemed indigent, the fine was eventually dropped.
In June of 1999, Bryant was again arrested and charged with assault and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He pled guilty to that charge on a negotiated deal and received a sentence of 8 years suspended to 4 years of probation.
Bryant was back behind bars in late 2000 when he was charged with several counts of kidnapping. That case never came to trial according to the Eleventh Judicial Circuits Public Index.
In March of 2002, Bryant was charged again with manufacturing and distributing drugs. Those charges were also dropped according to court records. Just 4 years later, he was arrested once more and charged with the same drug crimes. This time he was sentenced to 10 years in prison but that was suspended to 4 years of probation.
In 2008, Bryant was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Driving Under Suspension. He was given time served by the judge on those charges.
In July of 2019, Bryant was charged with several counts of kidnapping again. He was also charged at the same time with assault and battery in the 2nd degree. According to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, Bryant forced a man and woman to drive him to a local ATM and withdraw money after a dispute about a debt. He was arrested, booked, and later bonded out of jail on that crime. He was able to cut a deal on the kidnapping charges that were dropped by pleading guilty to assault and battery in the first degree. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison but that was suspended to 20 months of probation and a $500 Public Defenders fee.
It remains to be seen how Bryant will fare when he heads to court again. The solicitor and the sheriff have both changed since many of Bryant’s earliest encounters with the law. A number of the judges in the earlier cases have also retired.
We will try and update this story as it progresses through the court system.