Berkeley County man sentenced to prison in ax assault

Berkeley County man sentenced to prison in ax assault
Elton V. Shuler, 49, was charged with Public official use or disclosure of confidential information. (Source: AP)

MONCKS CORNER, SC - Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson announced that a Berkeley County jury convicted defendant Kevin Daniel Driggers of three different charges on Thursday.

Driggers was convicted on the charges of kidnapping, burglary in the second degree, and assault and battery in the second degree.

Judge Kristi Lea Harrington sentenced him to 30 years in prison suspended upon the service of 15 years.

Driggers was charged after a woman was beaten with an ax handle, after he broke into her home in Saint Stephen on Nov. 4, 2015.

Driggers first attempted to enter the home by beating in the back door, according to Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson. Despite breaking the hinges off the door, he was unable to enter due to the victim bracing herself between the door and a washing machine. The victim's 14-year old son fled the home through the front door with another five-year old boy living at the residence to seek help and safety, while the victim remained in an attempt to keep the defendant out of the house, she said. Driggers eventually found a window and shattered it with the ax handle, making entry into the home. The victim fled the home through the front door in an attempt to get away, but was stopped when Driggers caught up to her and slammed the ax handle into the back of her head, causing her to fall to the ground, Wilson said. Driggers proceeded to beat the victim using the ax handle, as well as kicking her body while she lay on the ground bleeding, she said.

Neighbors witnessed Driggers pinning the victim on the ground while beating her with the ax handle, dragging her across the yard, and threatening to kill her.

Corporal Shawnda Winder with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office arrived within five minutes of the 911 call going out, and witnessed Driggers chasing the victim across the yard with the ax handle before she ordered him to the ground at gunpoint.

During the three-day trial, Assistant Solicitors Price Sigal and Wilton H. McNeely presented evidence including 911 calls, testimony from the victim and law enforcement, a medical expert, eye witness testimony from neighbors, as well as testimony from the victim's teenage son.

The trial was not the first time in court for Kevin Daniel Driggers.

Assistant Solicitor Sigal previously prosecuted and convicted Driggers in 2015 for Criminal Domestic Violence in Berkeley County.

Driggers has two domestic violence convictions and seven assault and battery convictions on his record, in addition to convictions for resisting arrest, threatening the life of a public official, public disorderly conduct, and petty larceny, according to the Solicitor's office.

Prosecutors praised the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office for their quick response to the scene, and thorough investigation, and thanked the victim for her cooperation throughout the prosecution process.

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