GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Judge Thomas Cooper has denied two motions on the behalf of suspended sheriff Will Lewis for evidence to be suppressed in his upcoming criminal trial in Greenville County.
On Wednesday, Lewis’ defense attorney Rauch Wise requested that evidence and testimony regarding a tax-payer funded trip to Charlotte be excluded from the trial. He argued since the trip didn’t happen in Greenville County the topic should not be part of this trial.
“So what happened in Charlotte is simply what happened in Charlotte and I don’t think it’s admissible in this case here,” said Wise.
16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, who has been brought in to try the case, argued that although the trip was outside of the county, Lewis’ actions in Charlotte still affected the people of Greenville County.
“It is the sun around which the rest of the evidence orbits,” he said in court on Wednesday.
Brackett saying it doesn’t matter where the acts happened.
“The defendant owed a duty to the people of Greenville. And he could have breached that duty anywhere he went,” said Brackett.
He played two conversations recorded in secret by Lewis’ assistant Savanah Nabors.
“You know how I was in Charlotte. You know how I am. I mean I’ll go out I’ll turn a few up. I’ll get silly,” said Lewis in one of the recordings. “I want us to be able to sit around and drink on the beach on company dime.”
John Reckenbeil is an attorney not involved in the case, and says even if the judge had thrown out this evidence there was other evidence to show Lewis broke the law.
“The salary for instance where she’s being paid an exorbitant amount of money that is not in line with what an individual in her normal capacity earns,” said Reckenbeil.
Reckenbeil also commenting on the fact that Brackett plans to only try Lewis on two counts of the indictments relating to misuse of his power in office.
“That it was used for personal gain such as an extramarital affair,” said Reckenbeil.
“If we stay in the same room, is that comfortable or not comfortable for you,” said Lewis in one of the recordings.
Reckenbeil says this is the heart of the issue and will narrow the focus of the trial.
“We need to know as we the people in Greenville County is if an individual who we have constitutionally elected has committed official wrongful acts while he’s been the sheriff,” said Reckenbeil.
Lewis’ trial begins on Monday.
Thursday afternoon, Judge Cooper released his decision denying Wise’s motions.