Teacher of the Year charged over weekend incident

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

A JET Middle School teacher is in the news after a brush with the law. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. -- She's Teacher of the Year at a local school, but now a JET Middle School teacher is in the news after a brush with the law.

According to deputies, Debra Durham was speeding on Sweetwater Road on Sunday.

Durham, 52, is the wife of Edgefield Mayor Ken Durham.

"Initiated blue lights followed the car residence of Republican Road," said Capt. Chris Wash with the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office.

He says she did not stop her car until she arrived at this house.

"The guy at the house said he did not want the lady back at his house anymore," Wash said.

According to the incident report, the man at the house said he knew Mrs. Durham. The report also states she was very upset.

Just minutes after a deputy put Mrs. Durham on trespassing warning, the Sheriff's Office had a second call that she was back at the victim's house and that this time she was armed with a gun.

Deputies say Durham fired the gun, possibly in the air. According to the report, she shot the gun near the man's girlfriend's car. However, officers say they had yet another call before they could respond to that incident.

"We got a report of an overturned vehicle in the area matching the description of the car that was there earlier," Wash said.

They say Durham was the driver.

Officers recovered a gun near the crash site and later charged her with reckless driving and trespassing after warning.

Mrs. Durham has gone on medical leave from her position at the school.

"She is a wonderful kindhearted person with heart size of Texas and she is deeply sorry. She is fully supported by family and friends," said Mayor Durham about his wife.

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