Spartanburg Solicitor talks about new prosecutors to work domest - FOX Carolina 21

Spartanburg Solicitor talks about new prosecutors to work domestic violence cases

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Gov. Nikki Haley (File: FOX Carolina) Gov. Nikki Haley (File: FOX Carolina)

It's no surprise that South Carolina is often ranked number one in the country for domestic violence, and Governor Nikki Haley has been actively working to bring that statistic down. 

 "Domestic violence is something that we took on and said, enough is enough," said Governor Nikki Haley on Thursday. She announced that the state has added 144 new prosecutors to prosecute domestic violence cases.  

"South Carolina was one of only three states where we actually had the law enforcement officers that showed up at the house defending the victims," said Haley. 

She said the new prosecutors are a much needed addition to the state that is working to overcome this issue. "We will now have victims who feel like they have strength, who feel like we have their back and I think it will make a huge difference in the system as we go forward with domestic violence," said Haley. 

And Seventh Circuit Solictor Barry Barnette for Spartanburg County agrees with the Governor.  "It's going to help our state, I mean domestic violence has been a top priority and they're making it a top priority and I'm very excited about that,"said Barry Barnette.

He said it appears that a higher percentage of the murders they see in their area deal with domestic violence issues. Last year his office handled the Michael Lawson  and Robert O'Shields prosecutions, he said they both killed their wives. 

O'Shields was sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing his wife outside a women's shelter. "Two horrific cases from that standpoint and being able to fight against that type of crime is very important, and thanks to the governor and legislature for passing this, is going to give us the resources to fight that," said Barnette. 

He said once the prosecutors are brought in they will go through thorough training. Barnette said they will develope groups to focus on the prosecution of these cases. 

"We need to have prosecution, but you also have got to have other programs, prevention, education, it needs to be all the way across the board and we're trying to develop that in South Carolina and if I thinnk we can develop that, we can definitely make a difference," said Barnette. 

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