Trial begins for suspended Greenville Co. Sheriff Will Lewis

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LIVE BLOG: (The latest information related to the trial of suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis):

5:41 p.m.:

Court has adjourned for the day.

4:15 p.m.:

The prosecution is discussing the details of the trip to Charlotte, a trip that is said to have been part of the budget talks.

According to the prosecution, Lewis invited Nabors to come on the trip to Charlotte.

4:10 p.m.:

The prosecution said Lewis used his power and taxpayer money to pursue an adulterous relationship.

“He succeeded at least once by his own admission,” the prosecution said, saying that the jurors need to decide if he did that using county funds.

According to the prosecution, there are some questions whether the sexual encounters between Lewis and Savannah Nabors was welcomed or not, but said the jurors do not need to determine that in this case.

The prosecution went through the timeline of how Lewis and Nabors first met.

According to the prosecution, Lewis reportedly told Nabors that he was going to run for sheriff and that he wanted her to be his right hand person.

The prosecution said Lewis began to offer Nabors perks, including a car, salary, fancy meetings, saying that he wanted her with him 24/7.

“That’s exactly what happened,” prosecutors said in the court.

Lewis hired Nabors for $62,000 a year, and prosecutors said the previous administrative coordinator made much less than that.

3:56 p.m.:

Opening statements have begun in the trial of suspended Greenville Co. Sheriff Will Lewis.

The prosecution has started their opening statement, saying they are focusing on the concept of duty.

“Every local official has a duty to represent the people,” the prosecutor said

The prosecution said Lewis has several duties to the people of Greenville County, including good faith and accountability.

Prosecutors explain that the charges Lewis is facing are statutory and common law misconduct.

3:50 p.m.:

The jury has been sworn in and opening statements are about to get underway.

The judge said “this trial will probably be different from what you expect.”

“This trial is not for entertainment. It is for democracy,” the judge said. “This courtroom is a place of honor.”

The judge has instructed the jury on how the trial will proceed, including when he will advise them of the law and the note taking process they are allowed to follow.

The judge has also reminded the jurors that Lewis has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, and reminded them that the state has the burden of proof in this trial.

3:15 p.m.:

Will Lewis’ attorney Rauch Wise confirmed to 7 News that a jury has been selected, 12 jurors and two alternates.

Wise said the biggest concern of selecting a jury was the publicity of the case.

According to Wise, out of 80 potential jurors, only two had formed an opinion on the case from media coverage. Those two possible jurors were dismissed.

The judge said in court that he could push opening statements to 6 p.m., but said he has asked for the bailiff to check with jurors about any potential child care problems.

He said he’s going to run the daily timeline based on what’s convenient for the jurors.

Our reporter Ayla Ferrone is live tweeting the trial. Follow her coverage of the trial by following @AylaFerrone.

PREVIOUS STORY:

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis is expected to go on trial starting Monday.

Lewis is charged with misconduct in office and obstruction of justice.

Lewis was indicted last year after his former assistant, Savanah Nabors, claimed in a lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and assaulted on a taxpayer funded trip to Charlotte.

Lewis said a sexual encounter with Nabors was consensual and denied wrongdoing. 

Nabors’ lawsuit was settled for almost $100,000 in May. 

On Wednesday, a judge heard conversations that Nabors secretly recorded between Lewis and herself.

Lewis’ attorney, Rauch Wise, requested that testimony be excluded from the trial, as well as details about the trip to Charlotte. But a judge ruled the evidence could be admitted. 

Sixteenth Circuit Kevin Brackett is prosecuting the case. 

The trial is expected to last more than a week.  

7 News’ Ayla Ferrone will be inside the courtroom throughout Lewis’ trial and will be bringing you the latest on its progress. Follow Ayla’s Tweets here:

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