SLED investigation into York Police passed to yet another solicitor's office

jmcfadden@heraldonline.com, adouglas@heraldonline.comJune 2, 2014 

— The decision on whether charges might be filed in connection with an investigation into York Police Chief Andy Robinson's alleged use of force during a suspect's April arrest has changed hands yet again.

The 10th Circuit Solicitor's Office, which covers Anderson and Oconee counties, now has the task of determining whether any criminal activity took place when York police arrested Jacob Floyd Bailey, 29, following the April 4 car chase that exceeded speeds of 120 mph and extended into the county.

Bailey had been accused of stealing a car at a gas station. Several York police officers violated the department's pursuit policies when they chased Bailey down S.C. 161 and then later S.C. 5 on a Friday afternoon, according to an internal review of the chase The Herald obtained last month. Video of Bailey's arrest shows Robinson approach the suspect when he is already down on the ground handcuffed surrounded by several officers. It appears that the chief steps on him.

The incident prompted an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division that has since ended and been turned over to prosecutors. Last month, 16th Circuit Court Solicitor Kevin Brackett announced that he would not review SLED's findings into Robinson because of a conflict of interest. He asked the state Attorney General' Office to hand the file to another judicial circuit. The case was given to 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette.

Last week, Barnette drafted a letter asking that the case be handed over to 10th Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams after prosecutors learned the suspect, Bailey, had been arrested in Spartanburg County and charged with armed robbery with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Initially, Barnette asked the Greenville County Solicitor's Office to peruse the case, but Bailey also faces charges there. In October 2013, he was charged with attempted murder. That case has yet gone to trial. Bailey is still held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.

Prosecutors in Spartanburg wanted to avoid a perceived conflict of interest, said Murray Glenn, solicitor's office spokesman.

"It's always an awkward situation when you have a (suspect) who is potentially the victim of a crime but a defendant at the same time," he said.

More, he said it's not "ethically right" to critically look at Robinson and Bailey's cases at the same time.

"We don't want anything to cloud our judgment one way or the other," he said.

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