Lowcountry woman says prison inmate threatened her life through phone calls, text messages

VIDEO: Inmate charged with threatening woman's life

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A state prison inmate is being charged with making threatening phone cells and sending threatening text messages to a Lowcountry woman.

The inmate, 44-year-old Robert Dukes is serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery at Lieber prison in Ridgeville in Dorchester County.

Christina Allen said she met Dukes online three years ago.

Allen said after doing a background check on Dukes she told him she didn’t want to see him anymore.

“I no longer wanted contact,” Allen said Tuesday.

A year later in 2018, Dukes was convicted of armed robbery and sent to Lieber prison.

Allen said not long after that she started getting the threatening calls and text messages from the inmate.

“There’s multiple phone calls, multiple voice mails, I mean it’s ridiculous,” Allen said.

Prison records show Dukes has been disciplined at least nine times for having a cell phone.

And each time he managed to get another phone to contact Allen.

“He has told me he will kill me, he will kill my family and friends, people I’m close to,” Allen said.

“I can’t enjoy a family function without turning off my phone. I can’t do course work for my college degree, the phone is constantly going off,” Allen said.

Allen filed several police reports with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office.

The detective in charge of the case says that he had obtained a warrant for Mr. Dukes and passed it on for entry to NCIC and submission to General Counsel for service by DOC Police Services.

However, due to current COVID restraints a representative for the DCSO says the warrant had not been submitted by the agency as is normally the case and the detectives were not aware of that issue.

Her biggest fear?

“Him getting out and coming after me,” Allen said. “I just want it to stop.”

A prison representative said Dukes will be charged with threatening to harm a member of the public and possibly other charges.

He’s also being placed in an area of Lieber prison where it will be more difficult for him to obtain a cellphone.

Federal law forbids state and local governments from jamming cell phone signals in state prisons.

Legislation has been drafted to allow blocking of those signals but the bill has yet to become law.

Dukes' scheduled release date from prison is June 2030.

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