- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

SENECA, S.C. (AP) - The latest developments in a South Carolina solicitor’s decision not to bring criminal charges against a Seneca police officer who shot and killed a man during a drug sting in July (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Prosecutor Chrissy Adams says a 19-year-old man fatally shot by a Seneca officer referred to himself as an outlaw and said in text messages that he would “go out shootin,” rather than stop for law enforcement.

The State Law Enforcement Division released Adams’ letter Tuesday after she announced she would not pursue criminal charges against Lt. Mark Teller in the July 26 death of Zachary Hammond during a drug sting.

Adams says Teller had only three seconds to evaluate whether Hammond was going to run him over.

According to toxicology reports, Hammond had consumed cocaine and marijuana within hours of his death. She says Hammond talked in text messages about running through police checkpoints.

Adams says claims by Hammond’s passenger, including that they were on a first date, were inaccurate.


3:08 p.m.

A U.S. Justice Department civil rights investigation into the shooting death of a man by a Seneca policeman is still ongoing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said that Tuesday the investigation into the death of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond continues and she couldn’t comment further.

Solicitor Chrissy Adams announced earlier that, after examining the case file and the law, no state criminal charges will be filed against the officer, Lt. Mark Teller.

The shooting occurred during an undercover drug operation in July and the Justice Department later announced it was investigating whether the victim’s civil rights were violated.


1:35 p.m.

A dashcam video shows a South Carolina police officer yelling at a 19-year-old to put up his hands and stop his car, but he instead drives away before the officer fatally shoots him during a drug sting.

The video, posted by several media outlets, was released Tuesday after a prosecutor announced she won’t bring state charges against Seneca police Lt. Mark Teller in the July 26 death of Zachary Hammond.

In the video, the officer grabs the left front fender of the gray sedan as the car keeps moving away in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. The officer shoots as the car drives by.

The car then moves out of view of the camera, but the audio picks up the sounds of crying, and an officer telling someone to again put their hands up.


1:35 p.m.

The attorney for Seneca police Lt. Mark Teller says the decision not to bring state charges against his client in a fatal shooting last July shows that the officer acted in self-defense.

Prosecutor Chrissy Adams announced Tuesday that, after reviewing the case file and the law, she will not charge Teller in the shooting death of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond. Federal officials still could bring charges.

Greenville attorney John Mussetto said that from the first day, his client has said he acted in self-defense and that Tuesday’s decision supports that position.

Hammond’s family has filed a federal civil lawsuit stemming from his death.

An attorney for Hammond’s family says he disagrees with the decision not to prosecute Teller in South Carolina.


9:45 a.m.

A South Carolina prosecutor says no criminal charges will be filed against a police officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old during a drug sting.

Solicitor Chrissy Adams said Tuesday that after reviewing the case and applicable law, no charges will be filed against Seneca officer Mark Tiller.

Zachary Hammond was shot and killed in July. His family’s attorneys wanted Adams removed from the case because she works closely with local police, but the state Supreme Court rejected the request.

Adams says she won’t release additional information while federal authorities decide whether they’ll bring charges against Tiller.

City lawyers have said the shooting was justified and that Tiller shot Hammond when he drove his car at the officer.

Hammond’s family says Tiller threated to blow Hammond’s head off. His lawyers deny that.

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