Accused cop-killer back in court, ordered to submit to DNA test

Stephon Carter

Stephon Carter, who is accused of killing an Aiken police officer, was in court this week. (WRDW-TV / June 19, 2012)

News 12 at First at Five / Tuesday, June 19, 2012

AIKEN, S.C. -- Alleged cop-killer Stephon Carter is back in court. He sat in a red detention center uniform beside his attorney Carl B. Grant this week.

"Your honor, the state has filed this motion for the production of a buccal swab," said David Miller with the Aiken County Solicitor's Office.

The buccal swab is a test that would collect DNA from inside Carter's cheek. They want to see if his DNA matches that found on a .38-caliber Rossi revolver. That's the gun they say was used to shoot and kill Aiken Public Safety Officer Scott Richardson in late December.

"The DNA profile was developed, and it is a mixture of at least two individuals," Miller said.

The state says it has eliminated everyone who could have touched the gun that night but Carter.

"There exists probable cause to believe that the production of this evidence will either inculpate or exculpate the defendant in this matter," Miller told Judge Jack Early.

Defense Attorney Grant strongly objected. He said the state already could extract DNA evidence from the bloody clothes Carter was wearing.

"So they already have what it is they are asking you to give them," Grant said.

Grant also objected to DNA tests done to other handguns found in the car. He said it was irrelevant.

Early called it very relevant to conducting a thorough investigation. Ultimately, he approved the buccal swab and sent Carter back to the Aiken County Detention Center.

This was the first time Carter appeared in court in South Carolina on the murder and attempted murder charges.

News 12 spoke with Carter's defense attorney Tuesday afternoon. He did not agree with the motion. He says Carter looks stronger physically but still has a colostomy bag after being shot in the buttocks during the altercation.

[Video courtesy of the Aiken Standard]

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