Suspect in teen's disappearance pleads not guilty on ammo charge

Freddie Grant (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)
Freddie Grant (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The lone suspect in the disappearance of 15-year-old Gabbiee Swainson appeared in federal court for the first time Tuesday morning to enter a not guilty plea on ammo charges.

Freddie Grant, 52, a convicted felon, is charged with being in possession of ammunition.

Grant's mother, Lula Jones, claims he's innocent and worries about her son, but not like you think.

"Not for the fact that they're going to find him guilty of kidnapping and stuff like that, he's not home so you know, I don't know," said Jones.

The family says they can visit Grant twice a week for an hour and Grant's biggest concern has been his house.

"He doesn't want to lose his house, so we were trying to figure out what, you know, how could we save his house," said Jones.

Grant was arrested on that charge on Aug. 26. Days later, he was also charged with kidnapping in connection with Swainson's disappearance.

Court records show last month the bank started the foreclosure process. It's where sheriff's investigators say they found duct tape with Gabbiee's blood on it.

"He's 52 and I've never know him, in fact, I didn't even think he's capable of doing something like that," said Jones.

Grant's family hasn't talked to him about the ammunition or kidnapping warrant, yet to be filed.

Both his brother, Johnny Grant, and mother have met Gabbiee.

"Gabbiee came once with her and she stayed downstairs and she was doing homework or something, so she didn't really interact with us. She didn't have much to say," said Johnny.

"When she came to the house, she was so mannerable," said Jones. "She was a nice girl."

Johnny and Jones are both anxious for the day they'll be able to see Grant outside of a jail cell or courtroom.

According to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Grant has not been cooperative with information on Swainson's whereabouts. Swainson has been missing since Aug. 18.

Grant could face anywhere from 10 years or a maximum life imprisonment for the ammunitions charge because of his criminal background, which includes several drug and criminal domestic violence charges.

His next court date is at the end of October.

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