FLORENCE CO, SC (WBTW) – A man accused of killing his 76-year-old aunt in Pamplico has filed lawsuits against Florence County employees claiming he was denied proper medical treatment in jail and that excessive force was used during his arrest.
Edward Eugene Dewitt, 50, has been moved from the Florence County Detention Center to the custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Dewitt was out on parole for an armed robbery charge from 2016 when he was arrested and charged in the death of his aunt in January.
He has filed a lawsuit claiming a Florence County Sheriff’s Office investigator conducted an illegal search, without a search warrant, and used excessive force during his arrest on Jan. 28. He says, in the lawsuit, he was asleep on the couch at a “friend daddy’s house” when “police forced their way through the front door” with “AR-15 assault rifles” and “multiple officers picked me up off the couch and slammed me on the floor. I didn’t resist at all.”
Dewitt claims when he was arrested “all kinds of officers starting punching and kicking me. They beat me all in my head, face and ribs. They hurt me really bad. They just kept beating me. I was in and out of consciousness while the officers were beating and assaulting me.”
He also says he was hit in the right temple area with an assault rifle. Dewitt was taken to Mcleod Regional Medical Center Hospital in Florence for his injuries, according to the lawsuit.
He claims Investigator Roger Tilton illegally took photos of his severe injuries and sent them to others. He also claims as head of the investigation, Investigator Roger Tilton is responsible for the illegal search and seizure and for allowing the excessive force.
In a second lawsuit, Dewitt claims he was denied adequate medical care when he arrived at the Florence County Detention Center. He says he had headaches and dizzy spells and requested to be removed from a top bunk, but was denied. He later fell from the bunk when trying to get down for his medication, injured himself, and was told to place his mat on the floor, according to the suit. He couldn’t get up from the mat so he was given a bottom bunk, according to the suit, and was later place on bed rest after a fall in the shower.
Dewitt is suing four nurses who work at the detention center and seeking monetary damages and a preliminary injunction for adequate medical care.
The body of a 76-year-old Lois Dewitt was found on Jan. 27 in a home on Kennedy Haines Road in Pamplico. Her death was ruled a homicide due to sharp force injuries and blunt force trauma. The motive in her death was robbery, according to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.
The Florence County Sheriff’s Office has not been served the lawsuit at this time and does not comment on pending litigation.