Ludwig still on probation, has history of arrest - FOX Carolina 21

Ludwig still on probation, has history of arrest

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John Ludwig (Greenville County Detention Center) John Ludwig (Greenville County Detention Center)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Thursday's arrest of John Ludwig was not his first.

Ludwig is currently on probation after pleading guilty to a charge of reckless homicide in November 2009. That charge stemmed from the April 2009 death of Bill Bardsley.

In that case, investigators said Ludwig drove his Maserati through Bardsley's Greenville County home, killing Bardsley, who was sitting on a couch inside the home at the time. The judge in that case gave Ludwig a five-year sentence, which was suspended to three years of probation and 500 hours of community service.

Ludwig was originally charged with murder, but that charge was dropped after he entered a guilty plea on the lesser charge. His attorneys said that he lost control after swerving to miss several deer.

In conjunction with the 2009 ruling, the judge also sentenced Ludwig to three years of probation and community service in connection with an charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

That charge stemmed from an incident before the crash involving Ludwig and a man who the defense said was having an affair with Ludwig's wife.

Ludwig's 2010 charges

Ludwig turned himself in to police in August of 2010 after authorities signed an arrest warrant on a charge of third-degree assault and battery. He was released on recognizance bond and advised not to have any contact with the victim, F. Jordan Earle.

Police said the charge stemmed from July 20, when Ludwig and Earle met at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville.

According to the police report, a 50-year-old acquaintance of Ludwig's told investigators that Ludwig came into the bar and shook his hand. The report states that during the handshake, Ludwig pulled the man closer, would not let go and began yelling profanities. Once the man broke free, Ludwig spat in the man's face, according to the report.

Earle and Ludwig both served on the same charity's board. In a statement to FOX Carolina in 2010, Earle said a media outlet asked the charity for an interview regarding Ludwig's involvement back in 2009, when Ludwig was facing charges in connection with a fatal car crash. Ludwig was a former board member by that time.

Earle said he told the board's president that an interview would be inappropriate "due to Ludwig's upcoming trial and that it would not be in the best interest of the organization to do so" in an e-mail.

Earle said he recommended the charity issue a statement to the media giving Ludwig's dates of service and stating that Ludwig served "satisfactorily."

Earle told FOX Carolina that Ludwig apparently believed the charity's decision was due to his email reply to the board president.

"This could be the only explanation behind Mr. Ludwig's behavior at Barley's, as Mr. Ludwig and I never had direct contact during the nearly two years we served on the charitable organization's board together," Earle said.

Earle said he has never had any association with Ludwig outside of their board service.

Though two weeks passed between the alleged incident and the arrest in 2010, Greenville Police emphasized that Ludwig got no preferential treatment.

Ludwig convicted in attack on ex-wife

Earlier in 2010, Ludwig was convicted of criminal domestic violence after his ex-wife accused him of spitting on her and hitting her a year earlier. The judge in that case gave Ludwig a 30-day suspended sentence and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine. He was also ordered to stay away from his ex-wife.

A jury convicted Ludwig of criminal domestic violence. Ludwig's ex-wife said that her former husband spit on her and hit her, while she recorded the attack with a tape recorder hidden in her vest.

The defense argued that the tape was not complete and that the recordings were made to gain leverage in family court. Ludwig did not testify.

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