Oconee County man charged with attempted murder

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(Courtesy Oconee County Sheriff’s Office)

OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — A 19-year-old Westminster man is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder, following two separate investigations.

According to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, John Austin Dakota Pruitt was placed in the Oconee County Detention Center around 2:05 am Thursday morning. Pruitt was charged with attempted murder, high and aggravated criminal domestic violence, and high and aggravated assault and battery in connection with an incident on April 5. He was also charged with first degree domestic violence in connection with a separate investigation on February 20.

Deputies said during the February 20 incident, Pruitt struck a female victim in the head and face with brass knuckles and broke the victim’s phone in the presence of a six-month-old child. The incident reportedly took place at a home on Kilpatrick Drive near Seneca.

The April 5 investigation, according to deputies, happened at Hwy 59 at Hwy 24 near the Tokeena Crossroads and involved two victims. Deputies met with the two victims, which included the same female victim from the February 20 incident, and they claimed Pruitt attempted to run them off the road.

After the two pulled over, a male victim got out of the car and exchanged words with Pruitt. The victims said Pruitt then fired a shot in the direction of the man. The male victim then pulled out a gun and fired back at Pruitt. An 8-month-old child was present at the time of the incident as well.

According to deputies, Pruitt was already under a bond restriction prohibiting contact with the female victim due to an incident on September 3, 2020. In that case, Pruitt allegedly assaulted the victim while she held an infant child. While Pruitt was arrested on a charge of second degree domestic violence following the incident, along with other charges, he was released from the Oconee County Detention Center on September 4 after posting bond.

Pruitt currently remains in custody at the Oconee County Detention Center at this time on $500,000 bond.

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