Former SC Trooper Pleads Guilty to Shooting Unarmed Man Who Was Reaching for License

Levar Jones was reaching into his car to get his license as requested when South Carolina State Trooper Sean Groubert opened fire.

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Former South Carolina State Trooper Sean Groubert has pleaded guiilty to charges of shooting an unarmed man at a Columbia, S.C., gas station in September 2014, WLTX reports

On Monday, inside a courthouse in Richland County, S.C., Groubert entered the plea to charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in the shooting of Levar Jones. Jones was in court at the time. According to the news station, the judge ordered Groubert to be taken into custody until a presentencing investigation and hearing are held. Groubert faces up to 20 years in prison for the charges. 

The former trooper and his attorney reportedly told the judge that Groubert was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder from an incident that occurred in 2012 and is taking antidepressants. They asked for Groubert to continue getting treatment while he is detained. 

In September 2014, Groubert pulled Jones over at a gas station for what was apparently a seat belt violation. Dash-cam video of the incident showed Jones exiting the vehicle and complying with the officer as Groubert asked for a license. When Jones leaned back into his vehicle to get his wallet, Groubert began shouting and fired several shots

“I just got my license; you said get my license!” Jones could be heard saying from the ground in the video. “That’s my license right there.”

“Well, you dove headfirst back into your car,” Groubert could be heard responding. 

As WLTX notes, Jones, who was hit in the hip by one bullet, ultimately settled with the state for $285,000. As part of the settlement, Jones agreed not to pursue any further lawsuits related to the incident. 

Read more at WLTX

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