UPDATE | Stephon Carter pleads guilty

(WRDW-TV, Stephon Carter)
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Monday, Feb. 2, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Court has accepted Stephon Carter's guilty plea. He will serve life without parole for killing Aiken Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson.

Carter says he pleads guilty to murder and attempted murder and all of the facts reported are true.

Richardson's family is addressing court now.

Stay with News 12 for updates.

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Proceedings for the Stephon Carter trial are done and the selected jury will return until Monday.

The jury will be excused until 10 a.m. on Monday morning. There are 12 jurors and 4 alternates selected for the trial.

Jury will be permitted to have cellphones and laptops during their sequester

According to a News 12 reporter in the courtroom, the jury consists of 8 white females, 1 black female, 2 white males, and 1 black male. The alternates are 3 white females and 1 black male.

Lexington County deputies will be present in the courtroom to supervise the trial, as they were today.



Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- The court is now in its third day of jury selection for a trial of Stephon Carter, the man accused of killing a public safety officer and wounding another in 2011.

On Wednesday, fourty-seven potential jurors were selected. That's out of a pool of 45 to 50 people, according to a News 12 reporter in the court room.



Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

AIKEN, SC (WRDW) -- Day two of jury selection is wrapping up for the man accused of killing a public safety officer and wounding another in Aiken county in 2011.

Carter is accused of shooting officer Scotty Richardson in the head, killing him, and also wounding officer Travis Griffin with a shot to the chest.

As of 5 p.m., fifteen jurors had been selected out of a 45 to 50 person group.

Those selected for the jury are to come back to the courthouse Thursday at 11 a.m. with 2 weeks of clothes in case they're sequestered.

The court has separated jurors into 25 panels made up of 6 people each. Today they began going through each panel to narrow the jurors down to about 50.

After all the jurors are screened, 18 will be selected for the trial (12 jurors, and 6 alternates).

The court summoned more than 500 jurors to report so that they could find an impartial jury.

Carter's attorney requested that the trial be taken out of Aiken citing that an impartial jury could not be found. That motion was denied.

Stephon Carter showed little reaction or emotion in court today as his legal team went back and forth with the state arguing over everything from the use of hypothetical situations in questions to how the term "malice" would be defined to jurors.



Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Jury selection is underway for the man accused of killing an Aiken Public Safety Officer and wounding another 3 years ago.

Stephon Carter is accused of opening fire on officers on Brandt Court near the Crosland Park neighborhood in December 2011. He's accused of shooting and killing officer Scotty Richardson and wounding officer Travis Griffin.

Prosecutor and Carter's attorney spent Monday choosing the 12 men and women who will decide Carter's fate. Media has not been allowed inside those closed door hearings but court officials tell 12 it could take several days before a jury is in place.

The court sent out more than 500 jury summons to try and find enough people to be impartial

Carter's attorney doesn't believe that's possible and asked the judge to move the trial but that motion was denied.

If Carter is found guilty, prosecutors are planning to ask for the death penalty, according to prosecutors in the trial.

The Clerk of Court says those summoned for jury duty have been narrowed down to 126 people, and are now separated into 25 panels of six.

She says they are being questioned individually to narrow the number between 42 and 50 people.

Those 42-50 people will be the final pool attorneys use to select their jury and alternates.

So far, they have two people that have been selected to be one of the 42-50 potential jurors.

Legal teams will be interviewing one panel of 6 per hour tomorrow.



Friday, Jan, 16, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW)-- The court sent out five hundred summons to jury candidates, trying to seat an impartial jury. Back in November, Stephon Carter's attorney worried that couldn't be done in Aiken County, but Judge Clifton Newman decided to keep the trial here.

The judge also decided to let Lexington County deputies supervise the jury, since Aiken County deputies could be witnesses in the case.

"The regular protocol for supervising jury should not be followed in this case," Newman said.

And as for the jury more than 170 responded to the summons, but 170 others did not and the judge says he's not finished yet.

"At this point with the high number of jurors who have not responded there may be a need to have an additional hearing to review additional returns by jurors prior to the date set for trial, prior to the 26th," Newman said.

Judge Newman said the possibility for another pre-trial hearing isn't going to delay the start of the trial. It's set to begin in ten days on January 26th. The original trial was set for November of last year.