Plea in works for defendant in SC prison guard hit

Sean Echols (Source: OCSO)
Sean Echols (Source: OCSO)

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A plea deal is in the works for an Orangeburg man accused of conspiring to kill a South Carolina prison guard in a hit orchestrated by an inmate using an illegal cell phone.

Prosecutors said Wednesday they're hashing out a plea agreement for Sean Echols. Echols previously pleaded not guilty on charges including conspiring to murder a prison guard for $6,000.

Capt. Robert Johnson was a Corrections Department veteran in 2010 who oversaw efforts to keep contraband like cell phones out of Lee Correctional Institution. He was shot six times early one morning at his Sumter home, and police say an inmate organized the hit using a cell phone smuggled into prison.

Johnson survived. Officials say he was the first U.S. corrections officer harmed by a hit ordered from an inmate's cell phone.

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