First witnesses take stand in deputy shooting trial

Brandon Jerome Simmons
Brandon Jerome Simmons
Deputy Jeffrey DeGrow
Deputy Jeffrey DeGrow

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The trial for the man accused of shooting a Charleston County deputy in the face in January began Monday.

Opening arguments began Monday afternoon. Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said deputy Jeffrey DeGrow identified his alleged shooter in a line-up. Beattie Butler, the defendant's court-appointed attorney, said his client did not fit the description DeGrow gave at the time of the shooting.

Brandon Jerome Simmons is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill.

The prosecution called three people to the stand during the first day of the trial, including the man who said he was with Simmons on the day of the shooting. According to that witness, Simmons had a gun with him.

Wilson said DeGrow would testify before the prosecution rests its case.

The now-retired deputy was shot six times at close range in the chest and face. He spent months in recovery and undergoing surgeries. He remained upbeat during his treatment. In fact, he said on several occasions he planned to return to active duty.

Maj. John Clark with the sheriff's office said DeGrow retired in June.

Two other men were arrested in connection to the case. Curtis Williams and Theodore Simmons are charged with withholding information related to a felony charge. Williams received a bond of $200,000, Theodore Simmons, $500,000 bond.

Brandon Simmons' arrest record showed December 2008 convictions for resisting arrest, as well as six counts of burglary in the second degree. The charges earned Simmons a six-year prison sentence, but he was released after serving only a year.

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