Ex-deputy gets 18 years after detainees drown in locked van

Detainees Drown
Posted at 4:43 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 16:43:52-04

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A deputy in South Carolina whose police van was swept away by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, drowning two women seeking mental health treatment trapped in a cage in the back has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

A Marion County jury found former Horry County deputy Stephen Flood guilty of two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless homicide.

Forty-five-year-old Wendy Newton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green had been involuntarily committed for mental help, but weren't dangerous.

Prosecutors say Flood was reckless by driving the van into floodwaters with the helpless women in the back.

The van was pinned against a guardrail where Flood and a second deputy could not get them out.