81 / 58
      83 / 59
      83 / 60

      Metts to make first court appearance July 1st

      Suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts is expected to make his first appearance in court on July 1st.

      LEXINGTON (WACH) - Suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts is expected to make his first appearance in court on July 1st.

      A federal court spokesperson said Metts first hearing will be a formal presentation of the charges he faces.

      Lewis McCarty is now running the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and according to the county elections director McCarty could be the top cop for some time.

      Lexington County Director of Elections Dean Crepes said unless Metts resigns or is found guilty there will not be a special election until 2016, thatâ??s when Metts term was set to expire.

      Tuesday, Metts was charged by a federal grand jury in a 10-count indictment.

      According to the indictment, Metts accepted bribes from friends in return for using his position and power to interfere with the proper identification and processing of certain illegal aliens detained at the Lexington County Detention Center.

      Two other men, former Lexington councilman Danny Frazier and Greg Leon, have both been charged by the state grand jury with bribing Metts.

      Metts has been the Lexington County Sheriff for more than 40 years.

      In 1972, he became the youngest sheriff ever elected in the U.S.

      Metts was the first South Carolina sheriff to assign a team of deputies to specifically conduct traffic enforcement patrols aimed at deterring motorists from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

      Metts earned national recognition in 1985, when he led the largest manhunt in South Carolina history. He coordinated a law enforcement task force that included three state agencies and the FBI in the search for serial killer Larry Gene Bell, who kidnapped and later killed two girls in Lexington and Richland counties.

      Metts faces up to 40 years in prison and $1 million in fines if convicted of the charges he is facing.

      In the same indictment the Attorney Generalâ??s Office announced a state grand jury has charged former South Congaree Police Chief Jason Amodio with misconduct in office.