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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

A Hartsville man was sentenced Wednesday morning to 11 months and 29 days in jail after being convicted of misdemeanor assault from a 2016 incident.

Jerry Alan Thigpen, 53, was sentenced by Judge Brody Kane in Criminal Court after a two-hour hearing. According to Kane’s sentence, Thigpen must serve 70 percent of that term – or 255 days – before being eligible for release.

Jerry Alan Thigpen

Thigpen was convicted in April of assaulting Property Assessor Dewayne Byrd during a meeting of the Board of Equalization on June 6, 2016. According to testimony, Thigpen brought a video camera into the meeting room and was told recording was not allowed. Byrd took the camera from Thigpen, who proceeded to punch and kick Byrd.

In Wednesday’s hearing, Byrd testified that Thigpen had made threats via online forums and social media prior to the incident, including an alleged statement that Thigpen “was not too good to put a bullet in the back of my head.” Byrd did testify there had been no direct threats to him since the incident.

Assistant District Attorney Jack Bare called Thigpen’s conduct “absolutely abominable” in requesting the maximum sentence.

Kane agreed, saying of Thigpen, “He planned there was going to be a dispute. In my history, he likes disputes.”

Thigpen was taken into custody but could be released pending appeal. Attorney Randy Lucas gave notice in court of Thigpen’s intention to appeal the conviction.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.