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S.C. Changes Dropping Charges Policy

April 2, 2001

WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) _ A state attorney general who declared ``open season″ on home invaders and dropped a murder charge against a woman who allegedly stabbed a man at her home said he won’t dismiss any more charges without consulting with police.

``I am not going to be dismissing cases without talking to law enforcement,″ Attorney General Charlie Condon said Friday. ``There is a conflict on whether they were consulted.″

Lisa Mackey Gant was accused of fatally stabbing William Haywood Brock Jr. after he smashed through her front door. Gant was released on Feb. 26 under Condon’s policy that people defending their homes should not be prosecuted if they kill or injure an intruder.

Walterboro Police Chief Mike Devin disagreed with Condon’s decision not to prosecute Gant. He said he did not consider it to be a home invasion case because Gant and Brock had dated.

``To me, this is a clear-cut domestic violence case. I never agreed on this. I was not given the option to give an opinion. It just all of a sudden happened,″ Devin said.

Condon said he had thought Devin had no objection to dropping the murder charge against Gant. He said future discussions about dropping charges should include ``written input from law enforcement.″

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