Crime & Courts

No court date yet for Kelvin Washington’s felony DUI case

Kelvin Washington at community meeting on July 7, 2014.
Kelvin Washington at community meeting on July 7, 2014.

No trial date has been set yet for former Richland County council member Kelvin Washington’s trial on felony DUI charges.

“The case is pending,” 5th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson said in response to a State newspaper query Wednesday.

Columbia attorney Mike Duncan, Washington’s lawyer, also told The State the case is pending. Duncan said Washington is tending to a personal matter that should be taken care of soon.

In February 2016, Washington was involved in a car crash near Hopkins in which two people were injured. One of the injured people suffered serious injuries and had to undergo surgery, officials said at the time. A blood-alcohol test showed Washington’s blood alcohol was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the wreck.

He was indicted for felony DUI late that month. The case has been pending since.

That same month, then-Gov. Nikki Haley removed Washington from his seat on Richland County Council.

In an executive order, Haley said she was declaring his Lower Richland council seat vacant because Washington had recently been convicted of failure to file state income tax returns for three years.

Under state law, the governor has the authority to declare vacant the seat of any county or state official “convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude,” according to the governor’s office. Moral turpitude is defined as “behavior that gravely violates ... accepted moral standards of (a) community,” according to Black’s Law Dictionary.

Failure to pay income taxes is a crime involving moral turpitude, Haley’s office said.