WIS investigates Bryan Sweatt's past, a year after the county's worst massacre fueled over a domestic dispute
BREEZEWOOD — The man who triggered Greenwood County's worst massacre after beginning a domestic dispute with his former girlfriend was a career criminal after an extensive investigation by a Columbia NBC affiliate.
Raycom's WIS News 10 unearthed the long history of arrests for Bryan Sweatt, who began his run-ins with law enforcement in 2004 at the age of 18. Sargent John Long of the Greenwood County Sheriff's Department told WIS that he personally arrested Mr. Sweatt numerous times himself.
He was a jailbird in the months leading up to the sextuple murder-suicide, being arrested 13 times in less than 24 months, with the 13th arrest being for a burglary 33 months ago while the victim was pregnant, a charge that he was slated to go to trial for on 12 months and two days ago, when the slayings happened.
Because he was never convicted of burglary, the only crime he was arrested for of which is a felony in South Carolina, sheriff's officers said that the firearm he used to commit the mayhem was legally purchased and owned.
His ex reported him at least thrice to Greenwood County Sheriff's Department officers in the 16 months before she was targeted by him and gunned down. The third and final report happened in the very residence where the rampage occurred about a week later, where the victim and her family's lifeless bodies were found lain in a path of destruction.
The victim's aunt told WIS bluntly: “He never had a job that I knew of. I'm sure he promised her the moon. I believe with all my heart she had no idea the extent of his criminal activity.”
Mr. Sweatt was gonna face 20 years, plus the time he was on probation, in prison had he been convicted of the burglary. He would have also never gotten custody of the child he and the victim shared, and he would have been barred from being hired to work at private sector jobs, voting and possessing a firearm in any state with strict gun laws.
WIS News 10
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