Jackson man pleads guilty to threatening Aiken County sheriff, injuring SLED agent

December 15, 2018

A Jackson man pleaded guilty earlier this month to making threats against Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt and injuring a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent during his arrest in December 2017.

David Solomon Ballard, 34, of Jackson, pleaded guilty on Dec. 6 to the charges of resisting arrest/assaulting or wounding a police officer; and threatening the life, person or family of a public official, according to court records.

Eleventh Judicial Circuit Judge William Keesley then sentenced Ballard to 10 years in prison for resisting arrest/assaulting a police officer and five years suspended to four years in prison for threatening the life of a public official. Both sentences will run consecutively, meaning Ballard will serve a total of 14 years in prison.

Upon being released from prison, Ballard’s sentence stipulates he will serve five years of probation, records show.

On Jan. 3, the SLED agents arrested and charged Ballard.

Ballard’s arrest warrants state that between Dec. 12, 2017, and Dec. 20, 2017, he “knowingly and willfully” delivered a verbal threat of “bodily injury or death” in a confrontation toward Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt by means of electronic communication conveyed by social media.

The message sent by Ballard threatened the life or serious bodily injury to Hunt and Hunt’s immediate family, warrants state.

When SLED agents went to arrest Ballard on Jan. 3, he intentionally assaulted one of the agents by kicking a door, which struck the agent’s hand, according to SLED.

Ballard was taken to the Aiken County detention center, where he was held until his hearing on Dec. 6.

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