Columbia police charged a local attorney with the highest degree of domestic violence after he assaulted his girlfriend and pointed a gun at her relative, according to testimony.
But his lawyer says those accusations are false.
The Columbia Police Department charged Drelton Carson Jr. with aggravated domestic violence and two counts of pointing and presenting a gun. Carson has been a lawyer in South Carolina since 2007, his state Bar listing shows. He runs the Carson Law Firm.
Police arrested him early Friday at his home, according to testimony at a bond hearing.
He was jailed at Alvin S. Glenn. A judge gave him a $3,000 bond that will increase to $30,000 if he doesn’t show up for future hearings.
At a bond hearing a relative of the victim said the assault began as an argument at a bar and escalated when the victim and Carson arrived at his home.
The relative tried to calm the argument, according to testimony. That’s when Carson pulled out a gun.
“I was asking him to put the gun away multiple times,” the relative said. “He was saying ‘I’m a lawyer. I know what I’m doing.’”
The victim said her neck had been bruised from being choked.
Two victims advocates said that the victim fears for her safety — “very fearful,” one said. A Columbia Police Department victims’ advocate said this isn’t the first time Carson has assaulted the victim and investigators have a second open investigation concerning alleged abuse.
Prominent Columbia lawyer and state Rep. Seth Rose represented Carson at the bond hearing.
Rose said he has known Carson for 15 years and “he is a man of good character.”
Rose called the investigation “sloppy” and said what happened wasn’t domestic violence and that he was going to “rigorously defend” Carson against false accusations.
“He is innocent of these allegations and we ask that judgment be withheld until this is resolved in a court of law,” Rose said.
The judge placed a restraining order on Carson and ordered him to surrender all his guns to Columbia police. Carson’s next hearing is June 25.
Aggravated domestic violence is a felony punishable with up to 20 years in prison.