Beaufort News

Kalvin Hunt not guilty by reason of insanity in deadly ride in stolen Port Royal firetruck

Kalvin Hunt, right, is escorted through the Beaufort County Courthouse on Dec. 18, 2014. Hunt was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of a pedestrian he struck while driving a stolen Port Royal firetruck in February 2012.
Kalvin Hunt, right, is escorted through the Beaufort County Courthouse on Dec. 18, 2014. Hunt was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of a pedestrian he struck while driving a stolen Port Royal firetruck in February 2012. Staff photo

A former Marine who fled naked from the Naval Hospital Beaufort in 2012, stole a firetruck and used it to kill a pedestrian was found not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday.

The defense and prosecution in Kalvin Hunt's case consented, and Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen issued the judgment at the Beaufort County Courthouse.

Hunt, 28, has been remanded to a secure facility with the S.C. Department of Mental Health.

If there is ever a recommendation for Hunt's release from the secure metal facility, there will be a hearing for a judicial decision, Mullen said.

"Hunt will remain there until he's not a threat to himself or anyone else," 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone said. "That status has the potential of remaining until he dies."

Hunt looked down as he entered the courtroom, and did not visibly react to the verdict.

On Feb. 24, 2012, Hunt ran from the hospital and stole a Port Royal firetruck that was responding to a medical call at a nearby apartment complex. He drove it down Ribaut Road, and struck and killed Justin Nicholas Miller before crashing into a wooded area.

Hunt, then a Marine, was at the Naval Hospital for a mental evaluation, Stone said. It was determined by three forensic psychiatrists that Hunt suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and had been exhibiting symptoms in the months leading up to the incident.

Hunt's mother had already contacted the VA in Beaufort with concerns of her son's mental health, and was trying to get him help at the time of the incident, Stone said.

Hunt was charged with six counts of hit and run with injuries, two counts of resisting, grand larceny, assault and battery in the first degree, and murder. He was dishonorably discharged from the Marines following the incident.

Stone, who prosecuted the case, and Cory Fleming, Hunt's defense attorney, both agreed it is now clear Hunt was having a psychotic episode.

Hunt's attorney called it one of the saddest cases he's been involved with.

"We felt like this is where we were going from the beginning," Fleming said. "It's heartbreaking, and I hope now Kalvin can get the treatment he needs."

Follow reporter Laura Oberle at twitter.com/IPBG_Laura.

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