Eutawville, South Carolina ex-police chief Combs could face murder charges if convicted during his second trial following the 2011 shooting of local black man Bernard Bailey

In 2011, then police chief, Richard Combs pulled over a 20-year old girl for a broken taillight and after prolonged arguing backup was called as well as the girl’s father, Bernard Bailey. Three days after the event, Combs sought an obstruction of justice warrant, but made no effort to serve said warrant until nearly two months had passed when Bailey came to Town Hall to discus his daughter’s ticket.

After an argument broke out between Bailey and Combs, Bailey left the building and got into his truck, prompting Combs to fire three bullets, instantaneously ending his life. Combs’s defense lawyer Wally Fayssoux claims it was done out of self-defense because Bailey would not heed Combs’s request to stop and said he was trapped by the pickup truck’s door as Bailey backed away.

Combs’s first trial in January resulted in a deadlock jury and now, six months later, Combs is up for trail once again. If convicted of murder, Combs could face 30 years in prison. Fayssoux also pointed out that the town does not provide its officials with less severe methods of protection such as a taser or pepper spray. However, during the retrial Eutawville Capt. Lacra Jenkins said “It easily could have been where a phone call could have had (Bailey) come and turn himself in,” and went on to discuss how less extreme methods could have been implemented to avoid Bailey’s death. The jury should should reach a verdict by Friday and only time will tell if justice is served.

-Nishat Baig