Charges have been dropped against a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employee in the death of a South Carolina sheriff's deputy thrown from a boat during a training accident.

Attorney Beattie Ashmore tells The Associated Press reckless homicide by boat charges were dropped Monday against his client, 37-year-old Joseph Jess Fleming of Pendleton.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources charged Fleming last month in the June 1 death of 30-year-old Anderson County Sheriff's Deputy Devin Hodges.

The agency said the Lake Hartwell ranger was operating the boat from which Hodges was thrown. Coroner Greg Shore said Hodges' life jacket got tangled in the propeller.

State prosecutors tell local media they can't prosecute because of a statute precluding the state from prosecuting a federal law enforcement officer for state infractions.