CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — A man who pleaded guilty to harassment and violent crimes against three separate victims was granted probation in a Charleston County courtroom this month.
Judge Bentley Price delivered the maximum sentence of 14 years in prison for Casey Lee Combs, who pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, second-degree domestic violence, and first-degree domestic violence involving three victims on Sept. 9.
But, Judge Bentley suspended that sentence in its entirety, placing him on probation for five years, according to Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.
During a plea hearing, Assistant Solicitor Catherine Fries, who prosecuted the case, argued for six to 10 years in prison based on facts in the case and Combs’ extensive history of violence against women.
The first incident happened on April 8, 2021. The victim told police that Combs continued to contact her even though she had blocked him and asked that he leave her alone. “Combs called her 25 to 50 times a day and threatened her, despite officers citing Combs for harassment,” Fries said.
Combs also visited the victim’s home, cursed at her and spit on her. He was arrested and admitted to officers that he was not supposed to contact the victim.
The second incident happened on June 3, 2021. Another victim told officers that Combs grabbed her hair, dragged her to the floor, punched her in the face several times and strangled her.
“Before leaving the residence, Combs spit on the victim and threw her phone at her. This victim suffered a swollen face and bruising to her body,” Fries said.
A third victim reported that Combs followed her into her home despite telling him to leave. She threatened to call the police, but Combs demanded the victim’s phone and followed her into a bedroom where he punched her in the face until prosecutors say the woman fell to the ground and he began kicking her.
“While in the fetal position, Combs stomped on the victim’s head and hands numerous times. He then strangled the victim with one hand and used the other to smother her face,” Fries said.
The victim suffered two swollen eyes, a nasal fracture, and 1.5-inch tear to her ear, a laceration to her elbow that needed seven stitches, and bruising to her neck, face, forearm and hands.
All three victims were present in the courtroom during the plea.
“Although this is not the sentence we argued for, these three victims showed resiliency and bravery throughout the entire process,” Fries said.
He had several previous convictions including two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury in 2008, assaulting a female in 2015 and again in 2017, communicating threats in 2018, and two counts of domestic violence protection order violation in 2020. He was put on probation for several of these incidents, according to the solicitor’s office.