Prosecutors want statewide jury in Lee Co. sheriff case

Lee County, SC - COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Prosecutors making a drug conspiracy case against a former South Carolina sheriff want a statewide jury to hear the trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Moore said in court documents filed Thursday that a centralized jury is the only way to ensure a fair trial for former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin.

Moore says Melvin's former position as a sheriff and the publicity the case has received mean jurors should be called from around the state.

Melvin was arrested in May along with 11 others and charged with conspiring to deal drugs in Lee County. Prosecutors have said they expect all but Melvin to plead guilty. Several have done so already.

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