Ex-police chief to testify in own defense at murder trial

AP News
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Posted: Jan 09, 2015 1:01 PM

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — A white ex-police chief charged with the killing of a black man he was trying to arrest in South Carolina will testify in his own defense.

Former Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs is to take the stand Friday in Orangeburg. Combs faces from 30 years to life in prison if he is convicted of murder in the 2011 shooting death of Bernard Bailey. Combs told the judge he understands his rights and will testify.

The shooting happened when Combs was trying to arrest Bailey, who was driving away from the town police station.

Prosecutors say Combs was trying to arrest Bailey on a trumped-up obstruction of justice warrant.

Defense attorneys say Combs acted in self-defense and was being dragged by Bailey's truck as he tried to reach inside to remove the ignition key.