Long-time Lexington County prosecutor Donnie Myers will let a magistrate court jury determine the outcome of his latest arrest for drunken driving.
When the trial will occur is undetermined, county spokesman Harrison Cahill said Friday.
The request for a jury trial effectively serves as Myers’ initial legal appearance scheduled for Monday, Cahill said after conferring with court officials.
Heath Taylor, listed in court records as Myers’ lawyer, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Taylor is a member of a West Columbia law firm whose website describes him as experienced in “all types of criminal defense, with an emphasis on DUI defense.”
Myers was arrested Feb. 22 for drunken driving after the S.C. Highway Patrol responded to an accident in which the prosecutor’s car had run off the road and hit a utility pole near his Lake Murray home. A loaded gun was left in the unlocked and abandoned car, according to an S.C. Department of Public Safety report.
He was taken to Richland County’s jail where he blew a 0.09 percent blood-alcohol content during a breath test. In South Carolina, 0.08 percent is evidence of intoxication while driving.
Myers has not commented publicly on the arrest, his third involving an alcohol-related traffic charge since 2005.
His 40-year career as 11th Circuit solicitor – chief prosecutor in Lexington, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties – is coming to an end.
Myers announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election later this year, saying the decision is “common sense” since the mandatory retirement age of 72 means he could only serve through 2017.
Anti-DUI advocates held a rally last month calling for him to resign or get help.
Myers’ latest arrest will be handled by an outside prosecutor since the incident happened in his circuit.
The S.C. Department of Public Safety’s office of general counsel led by chief legal counsel Warren Ganjehsani is taking the case.
Each of the nine Lexington County magistrates excused themselves from legal proceedings involving Myers to avoid any conflicts-of-interest. Their decision means a judge from elsewhere will be assigned to preside.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483