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South Carolina kidnapping suspect refuses to cooperate

Police claim to have apprehended the kidnapper of a South Carolina teen. The girl is still missing and the suspect has not volunteered any helpful information, according to previous reports in the same online publication. It is unclear whether the suspect has obtained criminal defense counsel in the case.

Once criminal charges have been brought, suspects have the right to refuse to answer any questions from the authorities. Charged suspects also maintain a right to have legal counsel present at any and all police interrogations. For this reason, it behooves a criminal suspect to seek legal counsel right away in order to preserve their rights and remedy any potential violations of those rights.

The missing girl is a cheerleader at Ridge View High School. The accused was reportedly in a relationship with the girl's mother and was doing work on the family's house. The mother had given the man a key to the house so that he could enter and leave when no one was home. The man claimed six months ago to have lost the key, but police found it in his home.

After finding the key in a room within the man's home, the sheriff held it up before cameras at a press conference. Police also found tape in the suspect's house that they claim has traces of the victim's hair and blood on it.

Before charging him with the kidnapping, police had already placed the suspect in custody after finding bullets and shotgun shells in his house. He is not allowed to own weapons or ammunition because of a past conviction for possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, which may be a felony in South Carolina. Police are still attempting to gather evidence and build a case against the suspect and the Richland County Sheriff's Department has issued a warrant for the man's arrest on the kidnapping charge.

Source: Heraldonline.com, "Sheriff: Kidnapping suspect had key to missing SC teen's home," Noelle Phillips, Sept. 5, 2012

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