Suspect accused of killing Upstate deputy dies days after being booked into jail

Duane Heard
Duane Heard(York County Detention Center)
Published: Oct. 29, 2022 at 10:40 AM EDT
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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Spartanburg County County Coroner’s Office announced that the suspect accused of killing a Spartanburg County deputy earlier this year recently passed away at a hospice house in Rock Hill.

Spartanburg County Coroner Charles Clevenger said 63-year-old Duane L. Heard passed away at 6:11 a.m. on Friday, October 28, 2022.

Heard faced multiple charges, including capital murder for allegedly shooting and killing Spartanburg County Deputy Austin Aldridge in June.

Deputies said Aldridge responded to Heard’s home on June 21 after a woman reported that Heard had assaulted her. According to deputies, when Aldridge knocked home Heard’s door, he came out, shot Aldridge and fled the scene.

According to deputies, Heard eluded them until he crashed near the Keurig Dr. Pepper, and deputies took him into custody.

At some point during the incident, Heard was shot twice. He was taken to Spartanburg County Regional Medical Center, where he stayed until officials discharged him on October 20.

Heard was then transported and booked into the York County Detention Center. Clevenger explained that Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright requested that Heard be booked in York County to avoid any allegations of impropriety.

Clevenger said Heard’s health quickly deteriorated during his time at the detention center, and they eventually determined that he was a hospice patient.

Clevenger said his office is investigating Heard’s death because his injuries occurred in Spartanburg County. He added that York County Coroner Sabrina Gast agreed with the decision.