Ex-deputy charged in deadly crash treated as ‘high-risk resident,’ allowed to use desk phone

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 7:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 11:23 PM EDT

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A former Charleston County deputy accused of causing a crash that killed a Colleton County woman and her two daughters spent less than two hours at the county jail before her release on bond.

Newly-released security video shows Emily Pelletier inside the Al Cannon Detention Center, both before and after her June 10 bond hearing on three counts of reckless homicide.

Former Charleston County Deputy Emily Pelletier, 24, appeared on June 10 for a virtual bond...
Former Charleston County Deputy Emily Pelletier, 24, appeared on June 10 for a virtual bond hearing on three charges in the fatal May 8 crash that killed a Colleton County mother and her two daughters.(Live 5)

Pelletier remained within the processing and booking areas until her $75,000 bond was posted just a couple of hours later.

Sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Knapp said Pelletier was treated as a “high-risk resident,” a designation for people with highly publicized criminal cases. Others who have been processed under this designation include Dylann Roof, the man convicted in the Charleston Church shooting and Michael Slager, the former North Charleston Police Officer who was convicted in the shooting death of Walter Scott.

Three days after the State Highway Patrol issued a warrant for her arrest in the deadly Mother’s Day crash, Pelletier turned herself in at the detention center about an hour before her bond hearing.

The hearing took place about one month after her department-issued vehicle collided with another car, killing Stephanie Dantzler, 53; and her daughters, Shanice Dantzler-Williams, 28; and Miranda Dantzler-Williams, 22.

The vigil will honor Stephanie Dantzler and her daughters, Shanice Dantzler-Williams and...
The vigil will honor Stephanie Dantzler and her daughters, Shanice Dantzler-Williams and Miranda Dantzler-Williams, all of Colleton County, who died Sunday night when a Charleston County Sheriff’s deputy collided with them on Savannah Highway at New Road.(Dantzler Family)

Reports indicate Pelletier was traveling at 73 miles per hour and failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of New Road and Highway 17 on Mother’s Day evening.

Per department policy, the video shows Pelletier being searched, fingerprinted and her mugshot taken among other routine procedures.

However, videos of Pelletier entering and being discharged from the jail were omitted from the copies provided. Knapp said security plans are exempt from Freedom of Information Act Requests.

Another video, recorded after Pelletier’s bond hearing, shows her making about five calls at a deputy’s desk. Sheriff’s Office policy states inmates are allowed to make “at least two calls” but inmates usually make their calls at phone banks located in the center of a room in the processing area.

Knapp said she was permitted to use the desk phone to arrange bond, adding that those phone calls can be but are not always recorded.

The sheriff’s office denied a request for a copy of the recordings, saying they include a “personal financial contract for bond,” which would constitute “an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy.”

Emily Pelletier, 24, faces three counts of reckless homicide in the Mother’s Day crash that...
Emily Pelletier, 24, faces three counts of reckless homicide in the Mother’s Day crash that killed 53-year-old Stephanie Dantzler and her daughters, 28-year-old Shanice Dantzler-Williams and 22-year-old Miranda Dantzler-Williams.(Charleston County Detention Center)

The department provided a call log sheet instead, but four of the five numbers Pelletier called were redacted for “privacy reasons.” The one unredacted number belongs to her lawyer.

Pelletier is expected to make her first court appearance on July 29.

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