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Grand jury indicts former DNR reserve officer after fatal hit-and-run

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Jeffery Thomas (Source: CCDC) Jeffery Thomas (Source: CCDC)
JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) -

A fatal hit-and-run case involving a former reserve Department of Natural Resources officer and a cyclist appears to be headed to trial after all, three months after a judge dismissed the charge.

In September, Judge James Gosnell Jr. dismissed a charge against 44-year-old Jeffery Lewis Thomas of leaving the scene of an accident with death, citing insufficient probably cause to take the case to trial.

However, last week a Charleston County Grand Jury indicted Thomas, a Mt. Pleasant native, on the same charge after a continuing investigation by the Ninth Circuit Solicitors Office and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's office investigators say Thomas struck a cyclist, 40-year-old Matthew Denton, of James Island, with his Ford Explorer around 9:30 p.m. in mid-August.

Investigators say Thomas then got out and checked on Denton, but left the scene and drove towards West Ashley before returning to the scene about 30 to 40 minutes later.

A trial date has not yet been set, according to the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office.

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