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Press Release

Former Marlboro County Sheriff and Deputy Indicted for Use of Excessive Force

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

FLORENCE, S.C. — A federal grand jury in Florence returned a single-count indictment yesterday against Charles Bernard Lemon, age 59, and David Andrew Cook, age 29, both of Bennettsville, for using excessive force in violation of federal law.

The indictment alleges that on May 3, 2020, Lemon, acting as the Sheriff of Marlboro County, and Cook, a Deputy Sheriff, used unreasonable force against a pretrial detainee in the Marlboro County Detention Center.  The indictment alleges that Lemon directed Cook to deploy a Taser against the victim without legal justification. Additionally, it alleges that the offense resulted in bodily injury to the victim. 

Lemon and Cook face a maximum possible penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted of this offense. It is expected they will each make an initial appearance at the McMillian Federal Courthouse in Florence in early February.

The case was jointly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Everett McMillian and Lauren Hummel are prosecuting the case in close coordination with the South Carolina Attorney General's Office.

U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist,, (803) 929-3000

Updated January 25, 2024