'I screwed up,' says ex-state trooper sentenced for shooting una - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

'I screwed up,' says ex-state trooper sentenced for shooting unarmed man in traffic stop

Sean Groubert addressed Levar Jones directly in court. (Source: WIS) Sean Groubert addressed Levar Jones directly in court. (Source: WIS)
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

The former South Carolina trooper who pleaded guilty in connection to a high-profile shooting of a man during a traffic stop has been sentenced.

Judge Casey Manning sentenced Sean Groubert to 12 years in prison suspended to 5 years and 3 years probation with credit for time served. After 17 months of time served, Groubert will stay in prison for roughly 3 1/2 years unless he is released on good behavior. 

In 2016, Groubert admitted his guilt on a charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature for the September 2014 incident where he pulled over Levar Jones in the parking lot of a Circle K on Broad River Road for a seatbelt violation.

Dash cam footage from Groubert's patrol car showed Jones reached in his truck to get his license and registration, but Groubert opened fire.

Jones was shot in the hip and survived. He explained what happened during a 2014 interview on NBC. 

"I don't know what happened," Jones said. "I just grabbed my license." 

Groubert then told Jones he fired his weapon because Jones dove head first into the car.

In brief remarks before the courtroom, Jones said the incident has caused him trust issues against other law enforcement agents, regardless of color.

"I'm not the same person I used to be," Jones said, explaining how his life had changed in the past several years.

Jones also asked for the maximum sentence of 20 years. 

"Today, let justice be served," Jones said.

Groubert spoke for himself after material witnesses spoke for his character. He addressed Jones directly in court, admitted to making a mistake when he shot him.

"Mr. Jones, I made the world's biggest mistake the day I stopped you, and I owe you the world's biggest apology," Groubert said. "I've searched in vain for three years to find the words to express to you how sorry I am but they don't exist."

"I screwed up."

Groubert also told Jones that he prays for him every night and that he did nothing wrong. 

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • 'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:20 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:20:32 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:15 PM EDT2018-06-19 18:15:42 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their...More >>
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.More >>
  • S. Korea: Joint US drills suspended to aid talks with North

    S. Korea: Joint US drills suspended to aid talks with North

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:50 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:50:33 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:14 PM EDT2018-06-19 18:14:39 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). A photo showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displayed as a member of People's Democratic Party stands to oppose military exercises between the United States and South Korea near the U.S....(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). A photo showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displayed as a member of People's Democratic Party stands to oppose military exercises between the United States and South Korea near the U.S....

    South Korea says a joint military exercise scheduled with the U.S. has been suspended to support ongoing talks both countries have with North Korea.

    More >>

    South Korea says a joint military exercise scheduled with the U.S. has been suspended to support ongoing talks both countries have with North Korea.

    More >>
  • New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border _ but with parents

    New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border _ but with parents

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:10 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:10:31 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:14 PM EDT2018-06-19 18:14:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). The Capitol is seen in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2018. Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Tr...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). The Capitol is seen in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2018. Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Tr...

    Calls are mounting for President Trump to end family separations at the border ahead of a meeting with House Republicans.

    More >>

    Calls are mounting for President Trump to end family separations at the border ahead of a meeting with House Republicans.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly