CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Authorities have formally charged the man who allegedly barricaded himself inside a Conway area home for four hours on Wednesday after law enforcement tried to execute a court order.
According to a press release from the Horry County Sheriff's Office, 37-year-old Bernard Emmanuel Jackson is charged with resisting a law enforcement officer during the serving process, trespassing and second-degree arson.
Online records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center state Jackson is still in jail as of 4 p.m. Thursday.
The deputies went to 3820 Harden Drive in Conway to serve the order that called for the removal of the occupants and their personal possessions from the property. When law enforcement arrived, Jackson went inside the home, locked the doors and pulled the window shades down, the release stated.
As deputies tried to get the suspect out of the home, they reportedly heard a loud noise come from inside. The Horry County Police Department's SWAT team was then called in.
"Law enforcement received information earlier in the morning that Jackson made a statement he was not leaving the property and would shoot anyone that attempted to remove him," the release stated.
Deputies who had encountered the suspect and his wife on previous occasions said the two believe they are not U.S. citizens and are not subject to the country's laws and authority, or any courts in either the U.S. or the state of South Carolina, according to the release.
"Jackson and his wife are considered to be sovereign citizens because of their beliefs and actions," the release stated.
During the four-hour standoff, negotiators with the HCSO, the HCDP and the FBI spoke with the suspect. They determined Jackson was alone inside and had barricaded himself in a second-floor room.
Horry County SWAT team members used surveillance equipment to determine there was no one on the bottom floor and they entered the home, the release stated. Once inside, they detected a strong smell of gasoline.
SWAT members went up the stairs and were met by Jackson, who opened the door and dropped something on the stairs, according to the release. The stairs caught fire and the officers exited the home.
Jackson was then heard yelling he was coming out and the suspect exited the home through the front door, the release stated. He was detained and immediately taken to Horry County Fire Rescue personnel because his shoes were on fire.
After being treated and searched, the suspect was arrested and transported to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Firefighters went into the home to extinguish the blaze and investigators then processed the scene for arson.