KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — A Camden man is in jail, charged with voluntary manslaughter, after he allegedly shot and killed a 17-year-old he says was stealing things from his pickup truck early Saturday morning.Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office investigators charged Jimmy Joe Methe, 49 of Norden Drive in Camden, with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Brandon Scott Spencer, 17, of McCrae Road, also in Camden.
Sheriff Jim Matthews said Methe was charged because Spencer was fleeing the scene.
Deputies responded at about 3 a.m. Saturday to Methe’s Norden Drive address. Methe told them that he had shot a person, later identified as Spencer, after seeing Spencer and another person stealing items from his truck, according to a sheriff’s office news release.Deputies found Spencer’s body lying in the road about 35 yards from the house. He had been shot one time in the head. Anyone with Methe had fled the scene and has not yet been identified, the sheriff’s office said.
The Stand Your Ground defense does not apply, Matthews said.
“The law states that you can use deadly force to protect yourself, your family or someone who is in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm,” Matthews said. “The law does not allow you to shoot and kill someone who has stolen from you and is fleeing. Unfortunately, Jimmy Methe made a split-second, bad decision and will now face criminal charges.”
Methe was cooperative with the responding officers and relinquished his weapon to them, they said. He was taken into custody without incident.
Investigators recovered items that had been removed from Methe’s truck. They also located a gas can and hose that they believe were to be used to siphon gas from the truck.
The neighborhood where this shooting took place has been hit with several vehicle break-ins as well as larcenies and burglaries in recent months, the sheriff’s office said. Two firearms were reported stolen earlier from a vehicle at Methe’s residence, the sheriff’s office said.
“Law abiding citizens are frustrated with the failure of our criminal justice system that really does not deter crime,” Matthews said. “Situations like what occurred early this morning are more and more likely to be the result of that frustration. …
“Jimmy Methe and his family went to bed last night with no idea that a few hours later he would shoot and kill someone who had tried to steal from him and his family. Brandon Spencer may not have even gone to bed last night, planning with his buddy to steal from an innocent homeowner. He certainly had no idea he would end up dead.”
Methe is being held at the Kershaw County Detention Center. A bond hearing is expected Monday or later.
Spencer has one prior arrest, for possession of marijuana in February 2016, the sheriff’s office said. Methe was arrested on a marijuana violation in 1995.
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