Sumter police release incident details on mayoral candidate accused of faking kidnapping

Accused accomplice claims blame to be laid on political opponent


A woman running to be Sumter’s next mayor has been accused of staging her kidnapping and beating on Facebook Live.
Sabrina Belcher, 29, of Cabelas Place, was arrested and charged with filing a false police report of a felony and conspiracy on Aug. 19. According to Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for the Sumter Police Department, Belcher said she planned the incident, recorded it and posted it on social media.
Officers were called to the police department before 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 18, and met with Belcher, who reported she was assaulted and kidnapped by an unknown man during an attempted robbery, McGirt said.
Officers claim Belcher worked with Christopher James Eaddy, 34, of Olive Street, to plan and stage the incident. Eaddy was also arrested and charged with conspiracy on Aug. 19.
Warrants state Eaddy conspired with Belcher to fabricate a criminal incident in order to falsely report a felony staged in the Hoyt Street area. The warrants also said Eaddy told officers Belcher hired him to help stage the incident and make it look like an opposing candidate in the election was behind the attack. According to the warrants, Belcher agreed to pay Eaddy to damage her vehicle and simulate assault.
According to an incident report, officers met at the Sumter Police Department with Belcher, where she reported that she was assaulted by an unknown Black male at a car wash on Lafayette Drive near Manning Avenue, which was in the county limits.
EMS arrived to the police department and transported Belcher, per her request, to Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital, and during this time, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputies were notified of the incident and met with Belcher at the hospital, which Belcher again said she was assaulted by an unknown Black male.
After further questioning, Belcher reportedly admitted to knowing the suspect and provided a false name: “Jaylen Rodgers.”
According to the report, Belcher said she picked “Rodgers” up in the Hoyt Street area and drove him around the south region of Sumter until the two had a verbal altercation in reference to a political post, where Belcher posted something about a candidate competing in the mayoral race against her.
According to the report, Belcher later dropped “Rodgers” off at the Young’s Market on Manning Avenue and went to the car wash next to the convenience store, where he got back in the vehicle and demanded her to get on Facebook Live and drive around the south region of town.
“Rodgers” then assaulted Belcher multiple times in the face with his fist, according to the report. He told her to pull into the field behind the sheriff’s office station on Manning Avenue, where he got out of the vehicle and smashed the windows and the windshield of Belcher’s vehicle.
According to the report, Belcher was going to leave, but she was scared of what “Rodgers” would do to her. He got back in the vehicle, and she continued to drive.
“Rodgers” reportedly started to assault her again as they drove around until he told Belcher to let him out on Hoyt Street. As he left, Belcher reported that he took her .22 caliber silver and black handgun from her glove box.
After a follow-up investigation the next day, officers identified Eaddy as the person who posed as “Rodgers,” according to another incident report. Interviews with Belcher and Eaddy later revealed that Eaddy agreed to participate in staging the crimes in exchange for financial compensation.
According to the incident report, Belcher admitted that the incident was staged by her to generate publicity for her mayoral candidacy, to engender sympathy for her from potential voters and to harm a political opponent in the mayor's race whom Eaddy was supposed to be acting on behalf of with the attack.
Both were taken to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center, where jail records show Belcher was given two $5,000 surety bonds. She posted bond on Aug. 21. Eaddy was given a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and was released on Aug. 20, according to Deputy Adrienne Sarvis, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.
Police say the incident was meant to “garner publicity, sympathy and votes in the November election,” that Belcher reportedly attempted to “discredit a fellow candidate in the recording” and had “ongoing plans to smear other mayoral candidates prior to the election.”
McGirt said she could not specify which candidates Belcher planned to smear and did not specify how the plan would tarnish the candidate. Belcher is one of six candidates who has filed to run for mayor.
“This was simply an effort to create disorder and discontent in our community for personal gain,” Police Chief Russell Roark said. “As a result, a valuable number of resources, including personnel, man hours of the police department as well as local medical professionals, were wasted based on false information.”
The two phone numbers listed on Belcher's candidate statement of intent with the S.C. Election Commission went straight to voicemail.