Former RCSD deputy asks for jury trial in assault case

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 8:34 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A former Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy is asking for a jury trial in a case where he allegedly threw a woman to the ground in his custody by her hair.

RCSD fired and arrested former Master Deputy Kyle Oliver in September over the January incident.

Sheriff Leon Lott showed body camera footage where it appears Oliver pulled the woman by her hair and threw her to the ground.

PREVIOUS STORY Ι RCSD deputy fired, charged after bodycam showed him throw woman in custody to floor by hair

He is charged with 3rd-degree assault and battery.

On Thursday, Oct. 22 Defense Attorney Derrick Mobley filed a jury trial request and a motion for discovery on behalf of his client.

Mobley did not return a request for comment on this story, and WIS was unable to contact Oliver.

The case is set in Central Magistrate Court in Richland County, where traditionally the law enforcement officer involved is the prosecuting entity.

Spokesperson Capt. Maria Yturria sent WIS the following statement:" Oliver’s request for a jury trial does not change the fact that our investigators determined that he committed a crime. The department intends to proceed with its original plans to handle the prosecution, though it would not be uncommon for an assistant solicitor to provide support."

At the time of the arrest, Lott said:

“That wasn’t part of police training, that’s not what we teach, not we approve, not what we’re going to have happen and as a result, he’s going to face the consequences.”

Oliver is also named in two lawsuits over his alleged conduct as a deputy.

The first is tied to the January incident, where the victim argues Oliver, the county, the department, and other deputies violated her rights and caused her emotional distress.

The second is from a 2018 incident where the plaintiff family alleges Oliver and other deputies entered their house without a warrant and at gunpoint after responding to a call about a car in a ditch.

The lawsuit claims witnesses said the car was parked in the family’s driveway, and the deputies entered.

The lawsuit contains photos of the alleged incident:

Attorney Ryan C. Andrews represents the family and filed the lawsuit in August 2020, just two weeks before Oliver was fired by RCSD.

“The fact deputy Oliver has been fired for another event, I’m not sure what all his background was right now. We’re in the preliminary stages in the lawsuit, before the actions that happened to my client. But obviously, after this should have thrown some red flags that deputy Oliver doesn’t have the best decision making to be the best Richland County Sheriff’s deputy,” he said.

He said the video was eye-opening for his clients.

“They consider themselves lucky. Seeing how he had such a violent tendency, to snatch that young the lady the way he did. They consider themselves especially lucky now. It scares them more now that someone with that temperament had a gun pointed at them in their bedroom,” he said.

Both lawsuits are in their early stages.

Attorney Robert Garfield represents Oliver in the family lawsuit. He declined to comment.

At the time of publication, there is no defense attorney listed for Oliver for the January incident lawsuit. However, Garfield said attorney Scott Hayes will be representing Oliver in that case.

Hayes confirmed he will be representing Oliver, and also declined to comment.

The sheriff’s department and the county also declined to comment on pending litigation.

At the time of Oliver’s arrest, Lott said the department would be undergoing an internal investigation as to why it took months for the incident to surface, and why his use of force paperwork did not match the body camera.

WIS has requested all the use of force documentation and complaints on Oliver and deputies under his supervision.

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