Sumter mayoral candidate accused of faking her own kidnapping, beating for publicity

Updated: Aug. 20, 2020 at 11:44 PM EDT
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SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - A woman running for mayor in Sumter now faces criminal charges after police say she staged her own kidnapping and beating to get “publicity, sympathy and votes in the November election.”

Sabrina Belcher, 29, carried out the stunt on Facebook live, police say, with help from 34-year-old Christopher Eaddy.

Around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Belcher reported to police that she was assaulted and kidnapped by a man she didn’t know, who also tried to rob her.

She said she was injured and the man broke out her car windows during the attack. Crews took Belcher to the hospital to be treated and she was released.

Later, investigators discovered she was in contact with her alleged attacker, Eaddy, and had planned it with him days ahead of time.

Police say she admitted to faking the crime.

Police also accused Belcher of trying to smear a political opponent during the fake Facebook Live attack, and planning to smear other candidates ahead of the election.

“This was simply an effort to create disorder and discontent in our community for personal gain,” Chief Russell Roark said. “As a result, a valuable number of resources, including personnel, man-hours of the police department as well as local medical professionals, were wasted based on false information.”

Belcher is charged with conspiracy and filing a false police report of a felony. Eaddy is charged with conspiracy.

They were both arrested Wednesday and booked into the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

Belcher is being held on a $10,000 bond, according to jail officials. Eaddy got a $5,000 bond and has since been released.

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