Town councilman accused of vandalizing gun range - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Town councilman accused of vandalizing gun range

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Norman Allen "Bubba" Ernst (Source: Kershaw County Sheriff) Norman Allen "Bubba" Ernst (Source: Kershaw County Sheriff)

A councilman with the Town of Elgin has been arrested and accused of vandalizing a gun range on his property.

Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews says 41-year-old Norman Allen Ernst turned himself in Wednesday after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. Ernst, who goes by the name of "Bubba," is charged with malicious injury to property.

Sheriff's deputies say starting in December, Ernst got into a dispute with the operator of a gun range who had a lease agreement to use his property. Deputies say Ernst wanted the gun range to shut down because noise from it was interfering with his business.

The operator of the range refused to stop operations, and Ernst eventually obtained an eviction notice.  The shooting range operator reported several acts of vandalism that occurred before and during the eviction process. 

On January 26th, a member of the shooting range reported seeing two people damage the property, and picked Ernst out of a SLED photo lineup and identified him as one of the vandals.

Ernst is awaiting a bond hearing at the Kershaw County Detention Center.

The sheriff's department says Ernst has previous convictions for drugs, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and unlawful use of a telephone.

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