Florence County man charged in connection to Lake City police officer’s death

Jermaine Roberson
Jermaine Roberson(FCDC)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 3:07 PM EDT
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A Florence County man is in custody in connection to the death of a local police officer.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced Wednesday that 29-year-old Jermaine Roberson, of Olanta, now faces charges related to an incident that killed Lake City Police Lt. John Stewart.

According to warrants from SLED, a different LCPD officer attempted to stop Roberson for a vehicle registration violation within city limits on Sept. 17. In an attempted to evade police, Roberson allegedly struck and killed Stewart near the intersection of Chandler Mill Road and North Matthews Road.

Warrants also state Roberson fled and “continued to commit further criminal acts to evade law enforcement.”

The Florence County Sheriff’s Office said Roberson is also the suspect in a carjacking incident that occurred just after Stewart’s death.

Investigators said Roberson approached a victim’s vehicle on Frierson Road, telling them he had a firearm. He entered the vehicle and told them to drive, eventually pushing them out.

A Florence County deputy then spotted the vehicle near Olanta, and an additional pursuit ensued. The chase ended when the deputy executed a PIT maneuver, causing a crash and leading to Roberson’s arrest. The crash left the deputy with minor injuries, but they are expected to recover.

The carjacking victim also sustained minor injuries, according to deputies.

Roberson is charged by SLED with reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, hit and run resulting in death and failure to stop for blue light resulting in death. He also faces several charges from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, including kidnapping, failure to stop for a blue light, carjacking, first-degree assault and battery as well as possession of an ounce or less or marijuana.

He’s being held a the Florence County Detention Center as of Wednesday.

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