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Ex-Eutawville Police Chief Charged After Years Old Shooting

7:24 PM, Aug 15, 2013   |    comments
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Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) --  Former Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs has now been charged in connection with a shooting death he was involved in two years ago.

Combs shot and killed 53-year-old Bernard Bailey near the Eutawville Police Department in May 2011.

A single-count indictment, brought by a state grand jury, stems from that shooting. The indictment, which was unsealed during a bond hearing Thursday morning says Combs "did breach the duty of accountability," and "failed to faithfully discharge the duties of his office."

"We need to let it be known that he wrongfully killed our brother," said Kenneth Bailey, Bernard Bailey's brother, at the hearing.

Combs was booked into the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention center after being arrested by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Wednesday. His bond was set at $15,000, of which he posted 10 percent and was released from custody.

Under a condition of his release, Combs is barred from leaving the state.

Bernard Bailey's widow, Doris Bailey, spoke through her attorney.

"She feels it's a nightmare," attorney Carl Grant said. "You don't wake up one day and feel that your husband's been shot not even once, but three times, and killed so it's obviously a nightmare to her."

The charge comes after two years of investigations by the FBI and SLED. First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe received the case in March, and handed it over to a Grand Jury.

"The federal government began investigating this matter for a very substantial amount of time," Grant said. "They ultimately decided they would not bring any charges against Mr. Combs."

As the case moves from an investigation to court, the family is hopeful.

"We trust the Grand Jury system here in South Carolina. particularly the Grand Jury decided here in Orangeburg County. That is the charge that the Grand Jury saw to be appropriate and the family is satisfied with that," Grant said.

A future court date has not yet been set for Combs' next appearance in court.

Combs is also named as a defendant along with the Town of Eutawville and the Eutawville Police Department ina wrongful death suit brought by Bailey's widow.

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