In early 2012, a Marine private allegedly stole a Port Royal firetruck, crashed into six vehicles and struck and killed a pedestrian.
Kalvin Hunt, 26, was charged with murder, two counts of resisting arrest, six counts of hit and run with injuries, first-degree assault and battery and grand larceny after he allegedly ran away from Naval Hospital Beaufort on Feb. 24 and stole a firetruck parked on Ribaut Road.
Firefighters had left the truck running while responding to a medical call at Laurel Bay apartments.
Hunt crashed the truck into six vehicles and then struck and killed Justin Nicholas Miller, 28, of Port Royal, who was walking near the Dollar General store, authorities said. The firetruck came to a stop after Hunt crashed it into woods soon after Miller was hit.
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A driver of one of the wrecked vehicles has sued Hunt, the city of Beaufort and the town of Port Royal for a leg injury and vehicle damage.
Hunt has remained in the Beaufort County Detention Center since his arrest. He was dismissed from the Marine Corps in September for unrelated assault charges brought against him in April 2011.
Other major crime and court stories in northern Beaufort County this year include:
2. BEAUFORT BANS TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
The city of Beaufort became the sixth municipality in the state to adopt a texting-while-driving ban.
The ordinance, approved by City Council in September and enacted in November, bans all drivers from texting behind the wheel and prohibits drivers under 18 from using a cellphone. The fine for a first offense is $50. Tickets increase by $150 for each subsequent violation.
3. DOUBLE HOMICIDE NEAR BOAT LANDING UNSOLVED
Authorities have released few details about an investigation into an April double homicide in Ridgeland.
Glenn Garett Settles, 22, of Jesup, Ga., and Watson Kyle Allen, 23, of Bloomingdale, Ga., were found dead by a passerby April 13. They were in a pickup truck on Tutens Landing Road and had been shot multiple times.
The Jasper County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation. As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made.
4. SHOP OWNER ACCUSED OF MELTING JEWELRY CONNECTED TO BREAK-INS
A Beaufort jewelry shop owner is fighting accusations he violated the city's precious-metals ordinance after dozens of items stolen from area homes were linked to his store in September.
David Patrick Kinard, 55, owner of the Jeweler's Bench at 603 Carteret St., pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial at a hearing in November for five citations issued by the Beaufort Police Department. If convicted, Kinard could lose his license to buy and sell precious metals, be fined as much as $2,500 and sentenced to jail for as long as 180 days, according to city ordinance.
5. MAN CONVICTED OF MURDER IN SANDWICH SHOP SHOOTING
A 25-year-old Beaufort man was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the July 2011 fatal shooting of Travis Sentell Holmes.
After a weeklong trial in November, Rajerick Lovell Knight was convicted of murder after he entered a Subway sandwich shop in the Cross Creek Shopping Center in July 2011 and shot Holmes, 28, of Beaufort, in the chest. Knight admitted to the shooting but said he did so out of fear for his life and the safety of his family. The jury deliberated for about an hour before finding him guilty.
- Man who stole Port Royal firetruck had fled Navy Hospital, Feb. 27, 2012
- Beaufort texting ban for drivers starts Saturday, Nov. 7, 2012
- Georgia men identified as victims in Ridgeland double homicide, April 14, 2012
- Knight sentenced to life in Beaufort Subway murder, Nov. 28, 2012
- Owner of Jeweler's Bench pleads not guilty to ordinance violations, Nov. 8, 2012