15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office clears Georgetown County deputies in deadly shooting

15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office clears Georgetown County deputies in deadly shooting
Georgetown County Sheriff's Office vehicle

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Three Georgetown County deputies have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in a deadly officer-involved shooting back in December.

The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office released the findings from the State Law Enforcement Division on Monday into the shooting death of Kreed Batemon on Dec. 10, 2019.

SLED agents said they found no evidence of criminal behavior by Georgetown County deputies Drew Wynans, William McWethy or Jerome Maybank.

“I am sorry that my deputies and the family of Kreed Bateman will forever be affected by Bateman’s actions on that night. I am proud of the bravery exhibited by the deputies involved and their will to survive this deadly attack,” Georgetown County Sheriff Carter Weaver.

The deputies were called to the 100 block of Gator Lane in Andrews for a report of a domestic disturbance. Officials said the deputies were in the process of investigating the incident when deputies exchanged fire with Batemon, and Batemon was shot and killed.

Deputy Solicitor Alicia Richardson reviewed SLED’s investigative report and the autopsy and toxicology reports from the medical examiner before making her decision.

“It is clear from your work that the subject armed himself with a handgun and fired at the responding officers while he was resisting a lawful arrest,” Richardson wrote to investigating Special Agents Clemson Wright and Jared Barkdoll of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Richardson said that deputies had probable cause to arrest Bateman for second-degree domestic violence for assaulting the mother of his children in their presence. Richardson also said at one point Bateman changed clothing and had on a black t-shirt concealing a ballistic vest.

She also added that evidence shows Bateman fired the gun at deputies first, and an assault rifle and ammunition box were within his reach.

The deputies responded with gunfire. The report showed Bateman was hurt but was able to move and stand.

The deputies ordered him to show his hands and allow medical treatment, but Bateman refused and made a sudden movement to get his weapon, according to the SLED report.

“The deputies responded to this lethal threat with gunfire,” Richardson said. “Substantial evidence exists to show this subject was intent on using deadly force upon the officers to resist arrest and that the subject was willing to die to avoid arrest.”

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