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No prison for ex-chief in black man's death

South Carolina
Posted at 6:06 PM, Sep 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-25 10:37:23-04

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The latest on a white former police chief who pleaded guilty to misconduct in office in the shooting death of an unarmed black man (all times local):

 4:15 p.m.

A judge has sentenced a white former South Carolina police chief to a year of home detention, but no prison time in the on-duty fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

Richard Combs pleaded guilty Tuesday to misconduct in office. Prosecutors agreed to drop a murder charge against him after hung juries in two murder trials.

Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson suspended a 10-year prison sentence for Combs as long as he completes his home detention and five years of probation. The 10-year sentence was the maximum.

Combs shot Bernard Bailey three times as he tried to pull out of Eutawville Town Hall in May 2011. Bailey came to complain about a traffic ticket given to his daughter and Combs tried to serve him with an obstruction of justice warrant when Bailey stormed out.

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3:50 p.m.

A white ex-police chief has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the shooting death of an unarmed black man.

Prosecutors agreed Tuesday to drop the murder charge against 38-year-old Richard Combs, who is the former police chief of the small town of Eutawville. Combs agreed to plead guilty to misconduct in office. He could face up to 10 years behind bars, but there is no minimum sentence.

Combs stood trial twice on the murder charge, but both cases ended with hung juries. He would have faced 30 years to life if convicted of murder.

Authorities say Combs shot Bernard Bailey in May 2011 as he tried to arrest him on an obstruction of justice charge weeks after he argued about his daughter's traffic ticket

(The version corrects the victim's first name to Bernard, not Walter)

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9/1/2015 6:02:30 PM (GMT -4:00)