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Traffic Stop Escalates on Republican Road

A routine traffic stop by the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office Sunday night, Dec. 30, turned into much more including a disturbance call, property damage, shots being fired, and a wreck.  According to an incident report filed by the ECSO, a white Honda SUV passed a deputy at a high rate of speed on Sweetwater Road and Mays Way Sunday evening.  The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle by initiating blue lights, but the driver of the vehicle did not stop until coming to a residence on Republican Rd.  The incident report describes the driver, Debra Durham of Edgefield, as appearing very upset.

A conversation between the deputy and the homeowner ensued which revealed the homeowner did know the driver of the SUV and that he wanted her off his property. She was subsequently given a warning ticket and verbally placed on No Trespass Notice.  The issue being resolved, the deputy and Mrs. Durham left the scene.

However, a short time later, the deputy was informed by dispatch operators that the driver of the SUV had returned to the aforementioned residence.  According to the report, this time she had allegedly broken a window and discharged a firearm while in the homeowner’s yard.  The deputy was further advised that the SUV had already left the scene.

As the deputy was responding to the call, he found the wrecked white SUV on Republican Rd.  The driver’s car had rolled over in what appeared to be a single car accident.  She was found breathing and conscious and was transported by EMS to the Georgia Health Science Hospital.  Her car was later towed from the scene.

Deputies did find in the vehicle a .380 Automatic Ruger with one round missing from the 6 round magazine.  She did admit to firing her weapon into a wooded area at the Republican Rd. residence because she was angry.

Returning to the crime scene, the homeowner explained that the driver of the SUV had knocked on his door yelling, broken a bowl on the porch, and discharged the firearm before leaving the premises.  A shell casing matching the gun found in Mrs. Durham’s possession was recovered from the scene.

According to a spokesperson with the ESCO, she will be charged with trespassing but no further charges from the ECSO will be added as the victim in this incident does not wish any other charges to be filed.  Additionally, Highway Patrol is charging her with wreckless driving.

It should be noted that Mrs. Durham was not charged with these additional charges at the scene as she required immediate medical attention.