Crime & Public Safety

Attempted murder charge dismissed in shooting near Old Town Bluffton, officials say

A Beaufort County magistrate dropped an attempted murder charge against a 21-year-old man Friday related to a July 12 shooting near Old Town Bluffton, officials with the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said Tuesday.

The charge against Arikin Ramone Fields, of Bluffton, was dismissed because of insufficient evidence, said Jeff Kidd, Solicitor’s Office spokesman.

Fields was charged by the Bluffton Police Department days after the Brenden Lane shooting that injured Adrien Dupont.

In an unrelated case, an attempted murder charge against a Beaufort man related to a June stabbing in Gray’s Hill also was dismissed last week by the Solicitor’s Office.

Kidd said the case against Paul Carlos Bettencourt was dismissed because the victim, previously reported as Bettencourt’s brother, recanted his original statement.

The victim refused to press charges, and the Solicitor’s Office has been unable to contact him since he moved, Kidd said.

Teresa Moss is a crime and public safety reporter for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette. She has worked as a journalist for 16-years for newspapers in Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.