Former Augusta officer pleads guilty to fatal shooting charge
A dashcam video showing former North Augusta police officer Justin Craven’s involvement in a February 2014 fatal shooting was released on Monday, after the officer pleaded guilty to the charge of misconduct in office.
Craven, a 27-year-old father of a 4-month-old child, refused to opt for a jury trial and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge in the Edgefield County Courthouse. He faced 1 year in prison, up to $1,000 in fine. Another charge of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle could result in a prison term of up to 10 years along with a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
After he pleaded guilty, Judge Frank Addy sentenced the officer on the misdemeanor charge to 3 years of probation and 80 hours of public service.
Craven’s attorney Jack Swerling said, “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, as far as the sentence is concerned. We got probation, no house arrest, and he’s pretty much free to go and live his life the way he wants. He’s … but for this incident in his life, he’s unblemished.”
Craven shot and killed of 68-year-old Edgefield County resident Ernest Satterwhite Sr. in February 2014 following a high-speed chase. He fired five shots, and two of the bullets struck Satterwhite.
The officer claimed he had feared for his life and shot the victim in self-defense. But, an investigation revealed that the victim was not armed.
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