COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A white ex-police chief has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the shooting death of an unarmed black man.
Prosecutors agreed Tuesday to drop the murder charge against 38-year-old Richard Combs, who is the former police chief of the small town of Eutawville. Combs agreed to plead guilty to misconduct in office. He could face up to 10 years behind bars, but there is no minimum sentence.
Combs stood trial twice on the murder charge, but both cases ended with hung juries. He would have faced 30 years to life if convicted of murder.
Authorities say Combs shot Bernard Bailey in May 2011 as he tried to arrest him on an obstruction of justice charge weeks after he argued about his daughter’s traffic ticket