Source: US State of South Carolina
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Nov. 6, 2019 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Lexington man has been sentenced to three years in prison on several charges, including Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Hit and Run, and two charges of domestic violence. Matthew Sanders Johns, 29, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Lexington County and was sentenced by Judge DeAndrea Benjamin.
Attorney General Wilson said, “This case involved criminal activity running rampant. We are pleased that the defendant will spend time behind bars for domestic violence and the other crimes he committed.”
Johns was arrested on October 17, 2018, after barricading himself inside his home for several hours. He had refused to come outside when police arrived to arrest him on the Hit and Run charge.
The first charge was Domestic Violence 2nd Degree, which happened on June 22, 2018. A woman called Lexington Police after she saw another woman and young child run into the road crying with Johns chasing them. The victim said she and Johns had gotten into an argument and he hit her in the head and body, leaving visible injuries.
On August 8th, 2018, Lexington Police saw Johns pull into a business driveway but stop with half his vehicle still in the road. When they stopped to help, they noticed the smell of marijuana, searched the vehicle and found a digital scale and 3.1 grams of methamphetamine. That led to the charge of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.
On October 16th, 2018, a Lexington Police officer saw Johns driving and knew his license was suspended. When the officer turned on his blue lights, Johns sped away. The officer ended the chase because Johns was driving recklessly. Johns eventually turned off the road and hit a vehicle, then drove off without stopping. It was the next day that police went to arrest him and he barricaded himself inside his house.
The final domestic violence charge happened on June 20th of this year, when Johns had broken into the home of his previous domestic violence victim and tried to force her into the bedroom. The woman’s roommate called police. The victim had a protection order against Johns.
Johns was sentenced to 15 years, suspended to three years in prison and two years of probation on the drug charge, three years for domestic violence, and one year for the hit and run. He also has to pay $200 restitution to the victim of the hit and run to cover her insurance deductible. The sentences will run concurrently so he’ll be in prison for three years. He received the maximum possible sentence on both domestic violence charges and the Hit and Run.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General James Haarsgaard.