Attorney for SC Trooper charged in shooting claims victim “aggressively reached for his license”

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Sean Groubert, a former SC Trooper was recently charged in the shooting of unarmed motorist who suffered a wound to his hip and survived. Dashcam video has been released that showed Groubert ordering the motorist Levar Jones to retrieve his drivers license but then shots him when he reaches for his wallet that was in the drivers seat of his vehicle. Jones can be heard on the video asking what he did and stating “you told me to get my license”. Jones had been pulled over by Groubert for a seat belt violation at a convenience store in Richland County, South Carolina September 4, 2014 according to South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Groubert was charged and booked into jail on a charge of “Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature”. This is a battery charge, involving physical contact, which results in great bodily harm or in a manner which was likely to produce death or great bodily injury. Great bodily injury includes permanent disfigurement or loss of use of a limb. ABHAN is considered the most serious of assault charges and is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison.

It should also be noted that unlike other recent high profile shooting by police officers, it does not appear that the prosecutor in this case sought an secret grand jury indictment which is not necessary to charge anyone with a crime especially when there is ample evidence. Groubert has pled not guilty and his attorney claims that the victim Jones, “aggressively reached for his license”.

WISTV reports,

Barney Giese, Groubert’s defense attorney, said there’s more than one way to interpret the video and told the judge Wednesday his client is not guilty and was justified in shooting Jones who was reaching for his license. Giese, who served as the 5th Judicial Circuit Solicitor for the past 16 years, said Jones reached for his license “aggressively” and Trooper Groubert thought he was reaching for a gun.

Groubert posted $75,000 bond Wednesday night and his next court date is October 24, 2014.

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