Deputy Mistake Leads To Dropped Attempted Murder Charges For And - WSPA.com

Deputy Mistake Leads To Dropped Attempted Murder Charges For Anderson Man

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An Anderson man who tried to back over Sheriff's deputies with a truck last year walked free Thursday. An Anderson man who tried to back over Sheriff's deputies with a truck last year walked free Thursday.
ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. - An Anderson man who tried to back over Sheriff's deputies with a truck last year walked free Thursday.

That's all because of a mistake made by a deputy.

"It you start off with a poisoned tree, then all the fruits after it are poisoned too."

It's a legal metaphor to explain illegal evidence collection, according to Anderson County Sheriff, John Skipper. He says it's the reason Ricky "Pighead" Clark is a free man.

Thursday, an Anderson County judge dropped his two charges of attempted murder along with two failures to stop.

The charges stem from last May and the incident on Highway 29 near the Georgia/South Carolina state line. Authorities said Clark led them on a high speed chase, then tried running over officers with a Ford pickup truck. Officers shot Clark, in order to stop him.

Before the chase, Sheriff Skipper told 7 On Your Side Deputy Erik Nubern tried to run the license plate of the truck he believed to be stolen.

“So as he was trying to back up, he was jockeying to turn and get behind it," explained the Sheriff.

The Sheriff said he only got a glance at the tag and Nubern misread it.

"Because the tag was run or misread originally, the traffic stop should have never happened to start with, therefore, there would not have been a failure to stop and everything else would not have happened," said Skipper.

It's an honest mistake according to the Sheriff, but a release from Solicitor Chrissy Adams goes deeper, stating:

"After a thorough investigation into Deputy Nubern's actions during this traffic stop and based on his prior conduct as a law enforcement officer, his credibility as the primary witness in these cases creates a fatal flaw…"

Sheriff Skipper would not comment on the prior conduct referenced by Adams and stands behind him.

7 On Your Side asked Skipper is there would be any retraining for deputies following this incident.

“No. All of our procedures were followed," said the Sheriff.

Meaning, Nubern keeps his job and Clark walks away.

We checked records and Clark has been jailed 24 times since 1978, spending about 20 years in jail for various crimes.

He pled guilty Thursday to 3rd degree burglary and petit larceny in an unrelated case. Clark must pay restitution by noon Friday, or he could face 10 more years behind bars.
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