Pinewood woman charged after man dies falling from her moving car


The death of a 36-year-old Pinewood man, whose body was found on Camp Mac Boykin Road on Oct. 5, 2019, has resulted in the arrest of 30-year-old Pinewood woman.

According to Deputy Adrienne Sarvis, public information officer with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, Christina J. Butler has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident after she failed to alert emergency services after a traffic incident that resulted in the fatality.

The body of James Antonio Gooden was found by hunters before 9 a.m. on Oct. 5, and he was pronounced dead by Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker.

Following a joint investigation by the sheriff's office, Sumter County Coroner's Office and South Carolina Highway Patrol, Gooden's cause of death has been determined to be blunt-force trauma to the head caused by falling from Butler's vehicle.

According to investigators, Gooden climbed onto Butler’s vehicle after an argument at a Rimini club, fell from the moving vehicle and hit his head on the road.

Butler was indicted earlier this month for driving away from the scene and for failing to call emergency services, even though she reportedly did not know Gooden had died.

Butler was given a $15,000 surety bond on Tuesday during an arraignment hearing at Sumter County Judicial Center.

“I remind all motorists that it is your lawful duty, no matter the circumstances, to report any kind of automobile injury or death as soon as possible,” Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said. “I also want to commend the cooperating agencies on this joint investigation.”