The firing of a Charleston County detective accused of sleeping with the mother of a murder suspect is sending ripples through the legal community.
Detective Charles Lawrence was fired last week after lying about the relationship to superiors, county court documents reveal.
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson sent out a message to attorneys this week advising them to re-evaluate any case in which Lawrence might be a witness.
"After Lawrence's termination, I heard from sources outside of my office that Lawrence may have had other instances of questionable conduct while employed at the Sheriff's Office," Wilson said in the email to attorneys. "We made inquiry to the Sheriff's Office and they revealed Internal Affairs findings dating back to 2007 where Lawrence was found to be untruthful. Furthermore, Lawrence had at least three findings of Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer."
Wilson said Thursday that her office is still evaluating Lawrence's firing.
"It is too soon to tell the impact that Lawrence's actions will have on the cases he worked," she said. "The effect will largely depend on his role in each individual case and whether the information he provides is or was corroborated or verified."
Lawrence is accused of having sexual relations with a murder suspect's mother while investigating the case.
A motion for dismissal filed Wednesday by an attorney for suspect Reginald Gordon, 24, alleged that Lawrence was sleeping with the mother of Derrick S. Brown Jr., 22, Gordon's co-defendant.
Both men are charged with murder and possession of a firearm in the August 2012 shooting death of 25-year-old Dominique Grant outside a Ravenel nightclub.
The case is scheduled to go to trial July 28.
Lawrence later lied to his superiors in an attempt to cover up the affair, attorney Michael DeTreville alleged in the documents.
The Sheriff's Office's investigation was "hopelessly and irrevocably tainted" by Lawrence's misconduct, and charges against Gordon should be dropped as a result, the motion said.
Lawrence could not be immediately reached for comment. He has not been charged with a crime.
A July 8 memo from Chief Deputy John Clark said that internal affairs interviewed Brown's mother. She told them that the relationship ended by 2010. "No favors were asked or provided between (Brown's mother) and Lawrence," she told them. Lawrence also told investigators that he did not promise Brown or his mother anything regarding the case.
Investigators determined that the two had "colluded to come up with a timeline" for the relationship. Lawrence originally reported to investigators that his relationship with Brown's mother preceded Grant's killing, court documents said. When confronted with discrepancies in his story, Lawrence admitted sleeping with the woman as late as this June, the documents show.
A July 9 memo from Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas that was addressed to Lawrence cited violations to the Sheriff Office's code of conduct as a reason for his termination.
Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson said Lawrence appealed the termination and was allowed to resign during the appeals process. He said the case against Lawrence, an 11-year-veteran of the Sheriff's Office, was not deemed to be a criminal matter.
Lawrence was not the Grant shooting's lead investigator, Watson said.
Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Frazier's Club at 4871 County Line Road shortly after 4 a.m. Aug. 18, 2012, authorities said.
Security guards told deputies they heard gunshots in the parking lot and saw a man running away from a vehicle in the lot.
When deputies arrived, they found a woman dead in a car.
According to detectives, Brown worked with Gordon in the woman's shooting.
Brown reportedly was involved in an altercation at another location earlier, and he thought that the individuals responsible for the earlier assault were in a vehicle in the parking lot of Frazier's Club, authorities said.
Andrew Knapp contributed to this report.