RICHLAND COUNTY, SC — Kidnapping suspect Freddie Grant waived his right to a bond hearing Friday afternoon.
Grant was scheduled to appear in Richland County bond court at 2:30 p.m. He is being held in the Lexington County Detention Center, where he is awaiting sentencing on a federal ammo charge.
The sheriff’s department obtained an arrest warrant on Aug. 28 for Grant on kidnapping charges but did not serve him with it until Friday. He is accused of kidnapping 15-year-old Gabrielle Swainson, who has not been seen since Aug. 18.
Grant was convicted last month of the federal ammo charge, and a federal judge will sentence him in April. He faces a maximum of life in federal prison, because Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey D. Haynes has said she will ask U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie to enhance his penalty because he is an armed career criminal.
Even if a Richland County magistrate had given Grant a bond, he would not have been able to leave jail because of the federal charge.
Gabrielle was reported missing on the morning of Aug. 18 by her mother, Elvia Swainson. Swainson had been at work overnight and came home to find her daughter had disappeared, and there was a small amount of blood in her bed, Sheriff Leon Lott has said.
Grant, who had been dating Swainson, participated in the early search for Gabrielle and even put his cell phone number on the missing-person fliers that were distributed around the county. Sheriff’s investigators identified him as a suspect after they began asking him questions as part of the routine procedure in missing persons cases, Lott said. Grant refused to answer questions, which led investigators to check his criminal record. They found convictions for kidnapping, assault and drug possession.
Investigators also traced Gabrielle’s cell phone to Grant’s Elgin home and used those cell phone tower pings to obtain a search warrant. Inside the house, they found duct tape with Gabrielle’s blood on it. They also found duct tape with her blood on it in an abandoned junk yard across some railroad tracks from Grant’s house. Grant’s DNA also has been found on the duct tape, Lott said.
Grant also is the suspect in the case of another missing woman. Adrianna Laster, 28, was a former live-in girlfriend who has not been seen since Labor Day weekend 2011.
Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.