Murder trial to proceed for sovereign citizen in Sumter man's shooting

Brown missed original date of hearing in August killing of man

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 12/7/18

The sovereign citizen charged in the shooting death of a 34-year-old man in August will go before a circuit court judge for a murder trial per a ruling during his preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

Demetrius Brown, 38, was present for his …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Murder trial to proceed for sovereign citizen in Sumter man's shooting

Brown missed original date of hearing in August killing of man

Posted

The sovereign citizen charged in the shooting death of a 34-year-old man in August will go before a circuit court judge for a murder trial per a ruling during his preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

Demetrius Brown, 38, was present for his hearing after it was postponed for a week because he missed his original date for an unrelated sentencing.

The hearing at Sumter County Summary Court provided more information on what allegedly took place nearly four months ago when Sharmine Pack was shot to death outside an auto shop on South Pike East. In relation to Pack's death, Brown is charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and unlawful possession of a firearm.

On Aug. 11, 911 dispatch received a call about a shooting at 56 South Pike East, said C.S. Bonner, Sumter County Sheriff's Office lead investigator.

Four witnesses identified Brown at the shop that day, and at least two witnesses said they saw Brown pointing a firearm at Pack, according to witness statements Bonner read during the hearing.

All four reported hearing multiple gunshots.

The first witness said he saw a man he did not know, Pack, get out of a car and walk up to Brown before he heard a loud noise, Bonner said, reading the witness' statement.

When he went to see what happened, he read, the witness saw Brown pointing a pistol at Pack, who he said was unarmed, and saw the victim fall to the ground.

Then Brown walked up to Pack and fired off two more rounds, Bonner read.

A second witness wrote that three to four men got out of a car with Pack and approached Brown's black SUV that was in the business' lot.

This statement was corroborated by a third witness who rode to the auto shop with Pack.

He said he, Pack and a third man got out of the car and approached Brown's vehicle.

Pack told Brown to get out of the SUV and pulled on the vehicle door before the defendant got out of his vehicle and pulled out a small black gun, according to the witness.

The third witness said he heard multiple gunshots as he ran from the area.

Bonner said the third passenger with Pack has not been identified.

Interviews with the third witness who rode with the victim indicate Pack saw Brown at the auto shop and went there to speak with him possibly about getting money back for a car he received from the defendant, he said.

The witness said no one with him was armed, Bonner said, and no weapons were found.

He said ballistic evidence from the incident was sent to SLED.

Judge Bryan Griffin said he thinks sufficient evidence was presented during the hearing for a trial to be held in general sessions court.

Ken Bell, public information officer for the sheriff's office, said Brown will go to trial sometime next year, possibly some time in January.