Former South Carolina Rep. Thad Viers was in court on Thursday in Horry County to face a first degree burglary charge and a petit larceny charge.
Viers stands accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home and stealing a firearm. He has denied the charge.
Fourth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Kenard Redmond says search warrants were executed against the web host of a Columbia-based political gossip blog to obtain the IP addresses for multiple comments that were posted to the website.
Redmond says those comments were related to undisclosed evidence in the Viers case. Prosecutors say the IP address came from Viers' home as well as the Clarion Hotel in Columbia, the hotel where lawmakers stay during the legislative session.
According to prosecutors, Viers was checked into the hotel during the time those comments were posted.
As for the burglary charge, prosecutors told the judge that cell phone tracking showed Viers in the area of his ex-girlfriend's home during the burglary.
The judge told Viers he would revoke his bond and he would be thrown in jail until his trial if the judge finds out Viers or any third party continued to release discovery material to any other entity.
"Now, you listen to me very carefully. If I
find that this conduct continues, I'm going to blame it on you and I'm going to
revoke your bond immediately," said Judge Ed Cottingham.
Viers was previously indicted in on harassment and stalking charges.
Viers was arrested in January 2012 after his ex-girlfriend told investigators he continued to call, text, email, and show up at her home and work for more than five months after they broke up.
Viers' law license was suspended, he resigned from his House seat, and he was forced to abandon his campaign for Seventh Congressional District seat that eventually was won by Rep. Tom Rice.
The judge set Viers' bond at $25,000.
If convicted, Viers faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.
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