Man Receives Child Endangerment and Possession of Stolen Property at Christmas Parade
On Saturday evening, a man in Lancaster, SC was arrested after police saw him driving a car with a stolen license plate, and four children in the trunk.
33-year-old William Trey Benton has been charged with child endangerment and possession of stolen property, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and driving under suspension, according to the Lancaster Police Department.
Sneaking Kids to Parade Equates to Child Endangerment
Police noticed Benton driving a red Ford Crown Victoria in and out of various parking spaces along the street at about 7:50 PM. The officers had responded to a stolen vehicle license. They verified that the license plate did not match the one registered to the car.
When he was pulled over, Benton claimed that the car belonged to his grandfather and he was simply moving it for him while the parade was going on. Meanwhile, dispatchers confirmed the tag was stolen and police arrested Benton. Then, 4 children popped out of the Ford’s trunk. The youngest of the children was only 11 years old.
Child endangerment charges were added to the list of charges against Benton.
Two of the children were Benton’s. It is unknown as of now whether the other two were friends of the family, or if they are related. However, officers did not suspect foul play beyond sneaking the kids to the parade.
“They were in the trunk for ‘Transport Purposes’ only,” officials told WBTV. “No foul play there, just extremely poor judgment.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with South Carolina Criminal Charges, Including Child Endangerment
Child endangerment occurs when an adult, whether a parent, relative, or caregiver, places a child in a dangerous situation that is inappropriate or could cause them harm. While not the same as child abuse, since it doesn’t involve directly causing harm, child endangerment still carries stiff penalties and possible prison time.
Being accused of child endangerment can have lasting affects on your professional and personal life, even if you are found innocent. Because of this, it’s important that you hire an attorney that can defend your rights.
Child endangerment includes both placing a child in physical danger and exposing a child to dangerous or illegal adult situations. Including:
- Caregivers driving under the influence
- Exposing children to illegal drug use
- Exposing children to firearms
- Failing to use proper safety restraints
- Domestic Violence
It is common for a parent or a caregiver to have no intention of committing this crime. Carelessness, negligence or recklessness may lead to a child endangerment charge.
The criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight to protect your rights and your personal and professional future.
Founded by former U.S. Attorney and assistant solicitor, Pete Strom, our experienced criminal defense attorneys include a former public defender, and a former Assistant Attorney General and Richland County Assistant Solicitor, as well as a tax lawyer familiar with IRS investigations. Our experience and familiarity with prosecutorial techniques provide the basis for experienced and effective legal representation. We will fight hard to have your charges reduced, or even dismissed.
If you face criminal charges, including child endangerment, in South Carolina, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help.We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.