Law enforcement works to protect domestic violence victims, cracks down on warrants

Law enforcement works to protect domestic violence victims, cracks down on warrants
Craig Talbot
Craig Talbot

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Of the hundreds of active warrants the Sheriff's Office serves every week, they take particular time and interest in serving the criminal domestic violence warrants.

South Carolina ranks second in the nation for homicides resulting from criminal domestic violence, so a lot is at stake when CDV warrants are passed on to the Horry County Sheriff's Office.

Two active warrants are out right now on two CDV suspects. Craig Talbot is 54 years old and one of many suspects wanted on domestic violence charges. The victim told Horry County Police Talbot got very angry, pushed her to the ground, grabbed her legs, yelled he'd break her foot, and slapped her. He then ran off as the victim called 911. Talbot was last seen in the Loris area.

Another man wanted for CDV charges is 23-year-old Keyonte McGee. The victim told police as she was driving McGee to the store, he took her phone, punched her in the head, tried to pull the keys out from the ignition as she was driving, grabbed the wheel trying to run the car into a ditch, and finally walked away. McGee was last seen in the Conway area.

After a couple days of trying to serve warrants like these, the police department might hit some roadblocks. That's when the warrants are then passed on to the sheriff's office. The officers then spend a lot of time to track down these offenders. They start by going to family and relatives of the suspects, where the incident originally happened, and places of employment. Lieutenant Steve Cox says many times, they will find the suspects back at home where the assault first happened.

"We rely on the citizens of this county to let us know, if they see somebody on TV that's wanted, for any charge but importantly criminal domestic violence. If they would let us know where they are, we'd love to get those," says Lt. Cox.

If you have any tips that could help snag these two CDV suspects, give the sheriff's office a call at 843-915-6142

Just as the suspect needs to be caught, the victim needs to be protected in these Criminal Domestic Violence cases. And the Horry County Sheriff's Office has options in place that can help keep you safe. One of those options is called a protective order.

Sergeant Sherri Smith says this protective order is basically like a restraining order with teeth. It gives the victim a bit more protection than just a regular restraining order, because it can be tailored to your situation. So you can ask for use and possession of your home, or a vehicle, or anything else that might help keep you safe from the suspect. Sergeant Smith says when you're married in South Carolina, everything is common law. So if your abuser takes the car and you're married, there's nothing you can do about it without a court order.

Lt. Cox says this kind of order is extremely important because domestic violence is all about control. So many times, the suspect wants control over the money, the car, and the house. Lt. Cox says this order won't stop a bullet or a slap, but it does give the victims some protection so they can find a permanent solution.

"Obviously it's going to be that person that has to take control," says Lt. Cox. "If the victim allows the suspect to come back into the house, then there's nothing we can do unless there is an order of protection that's granted or if a warrant is issued, obviously we can make the arrest."

Sgt. Smith says victims will go back to their abuser an average of 11 times before they finally decide to leave. To get one of these protective orders to help you out, you have to go to the clerk of courts office to get the paperwork. Fill that out, then the order will be served. And if the suspect ever violates that order, that person will be arrested. Workers at LifeLine or the Horry County Family Justice Center can help you fill out this paperwork.

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