FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A judge has cut the sentence in half for a registered South Carolina sex offender serving time on a federal gun charge.
Kenneth Glen Hinson will spend the next 115 months behind bars because of a felony gun possession charge, this is the second time he has been sentenced for this charge.
In 2006 Hinson was arrested and charged with raping two girls in an underground room behind his Darlington County home. He was found with a gun at the time of his arrest and charged with weapons possession by federal authorizes. Pre-existing charges on Hinson's criminal record made it illegal for him to have a gun.
Hinson was eventually found not guilty of the rape charges, but was convicted on the gun charge and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Hinson appealed this sentence, arguing he should not have been sentenced to more than ten years for the gun charge. In February, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted his request for a new sentence.
Given his criminal record, Hinson's attorney sought a maximum sentence of eight years in prison. However, the US Attorney argued Hinson's record did not adequately portray his criminal history, or the degree to which the state finds him to be dangerous.
Hinson was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in 1991, which gave him criminal record score of two. The US Attorney argued this ranking did not take reflect a 1989 conviction of aggravated battery and assault and a 1983 conviction for trafficking cocaine.
The judge agreed and increased Hinson's criminal score from two to four. This made him eligible for the higher sentence which he received.
The US Attorney called four witnesses to the stand to speak on Hinson's character during Tuesday's hearing. One witness was one of the girl's Hinson was accused of kidnapping and raping in 2006. Her mother, Renee Thomas, is dissatisfied with the sentence Hinson received.
"We don't get any justice," Thomas said. "All we get is the pain. He gets three meals a day and a place to lay his head, and he doesn't even deserve that. He deserves to die."
Hinson's niece, Renee Faile, testified during Tuesday's hearing that Hinson raped her when she was two years old. She said his original sentence of 25 years should have been upheld.
"I forgive him, because he has a sickness," Faile said, "But it seems to be that the system is letting him get away with his sickness."
Judge Terry Wooten gave Hinson his sentence after a three hour hearing in a Florence courtroom Tuesday afternoon. He said Hinson's sentence was personalized specifically for him, based on his criminal record, the testimonies heard in court and the gun charge for which he was convicted.
"I don't see what could stop this defendant from committing crimes other than incarceration," Wooten said.
He also ordered Hinson to complete a substance abuse treatment program and get mental health counseling as part of his ten year sentence.
Hinson has 14 days to appeal this decision before it becomes final.
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