Marlboro County Sheriff Charles Lemon has been removed from his post after he was indicted on charges of battery of a high and aggravated nature and misconduct of office.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the indictment of Lemon and former Deputy David Andrew Cook. Both are accused of being involved in a taser incident May 3, 2020, at the Marlboro County Detention Center.
Lemon is accused of ordering Cook to use the taser on Jarrel Lee Johnson and then unlawfully taser him two more times in an attempt to subdue Johnson within the jail.
Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order Tuesday suspending Lemon because of the indictment and appointed former Bennettsville Chief of Police Larry McNeil as interim sheriff until Lemon is acquitted, convicted or the indictment is otherwise deposed.
The indictment alleges the use of the taser likely was to produce great bodily injury or death. The indictment said Cook used the taser on Johnson’s chest and leg.
Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Common law misconduct of office is a misdemeanor that can lead to up to 10 years in prison.
McNeil, 68, was the chief in Bennettsville from 2000 to 2016 and was the South Carolina Department of Social Services director of employee safety and law enforcement liaison until earlier this year.