Two arrested in S.C. deputy's slaying
By Bruce Smith
The Associated Press
WALTERBORO, S.C. — Two people have been arrested and charged in the slaying of a sheriff's deputy who was gunned down while responding to an early morning burglary last month, authorities said Monday.
Jacoby Jermaine Fields, 18, of Walterboro, and Travis Javon Harris, 19, of Smoaks, were charged with murder and first-degree burglary in the death of Colleton County Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Compton.
"We do believe we have the two individuals responsible," State Law Enforcement Division Chief Reggie Lloyd told reporters.
Compton, 39, was shot after responding to a burglary alarm early on the morning of Aug. 6 at a home near the rural community of Smoaks. Arrest warrants said he was shot in the stomach with a shotgun.
Lloyd, who said the arrests were based on "self-incriminating statements" and other evidence, would not say who authorities think was the triggerman or where the suspects got the gun. He said no additional arrests are expected. The two are expected in court for a bond hearing Tuesday, and were likely to have attorneys appointed for them.
Solicitor Isaac McDuffie Stone said there has been no decision on whether to seek the death penalty.
The fallen deputy's widow, Tabatha Compton, fought back tears as she thanked the officers.
"I'm very grateful for everybody's efforts and prayers. They have definitely been felt by myself and our family," she said. "These men and women are exhausted and they have spent endless hours away from their families and their loved ones to help bring justice to my family."
Fields was arrested in 2006 for disorderly conduct and simple assault and sentenced to a day in jail. Earlier this year, he was fined and given two years probation on an unlawful weapons charge, arrest records show. Harris has no prior criminal record.