A Bluffton man facing murder, kidnapping and assault charges had a separate domestic violence charge changed Friday.
Thomas Morris Bush was charged with second-degree domestic violence, a misdemeanor, in connection with an alleged assault on a woman in December. During a hearing before a a Beaufort County magistrate judge on Friday, the case was remanded as third-degree assault and battery, also a misdemeanor.
Prosecutors noted the domestic violence charge didn’t fit because Bush wasn’t married to the woman, they didn’t live together and didn’t have a child together.
Bush was arrested Dec. 8 after the woman told Bluffton Police Department investigators Bush assaulted her in the car when she picked him up for a ride to his home in Sun City. Bush threw a drink on the woman, hit her repeatedly, pushed his arm into her throat and covered her mouth and nose with his hand, Bluffton Police detective Baker Odom testified Friday.
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The woman regularly gave Bush rides to Sun City, where he lives with his mother, Odom said.
Bush’s attorney, Robert Ferguson, didn’t object to the charge being changed. He declined comment after the hearing.
Bush had a 9 p.m. curfew as part of his bond for charges of murder and attempted murder related to a June shooting. Bush was charged after Roy Leon Hamilton was shot and killed and Deonte Stevenson was wounded by gunfire in the area of Shults Road and Goethe Road near Oscar Frazier Park in Bluffton.
Bush was freed on bail in September on the murder and attempted murder charges, subjected to electronic monitoring and required not to contact the victim’s family, Beaufort County court records show.
He was arrested again Dec. 22 and charged with kidnapping and first-degree assault and battery after a woman told deputies Bush assaulted her and held her against her will in a Sun City home. Bush left after the woman cut him with a knife, a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report said.
Bush has been held without bail in Beaufort County Detention Center on the kidnapping charge. The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office will ask a Circuit Court judge this month that Bush’s bail be revoked on all his pending charges, including the murder charge, Deputy Solicitor Sean Thornton said.