Man charged with killing teen fleeing after robbing truck

CAMDEN, S.C. — A South Carolina man was charged with manslaughter after authorities say he shot and killed a 17-year-old trying to steal from his parked truck outside his Camden home early Saturday.

Jimmy Methe, 49, was charged with voluntary manslaughter in the death of Brandon Scott Spencer of Camden, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said in a prepared statement. Spencer was shot once in the head. Deputies found his body lying in the road about 35 yards away from Methe’s truck, Matthews said.

“The law states that you can use deadly force to protect yourself, your family or someone who is in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm,” Matthews said. “The law does not allow you to shoot and kill someone who has stolen from you and is fleeing.”

Methe had previously been robbed of two firearms by thieves who broke into a vehicle, and his neighborhood had seen several vehicles and homes robbed in the past six months, Matthews said.

Investigators said they recovered items taken from Methe’s truck, as well as a gas can and hose may have been used to siphon gas from the vehicle, Matthews said.

Methe was cooperative with officers who responded to reports of a shooting around 3 a.m. Saturday, turned over his gun and was taken into custody without incident, Matthews said. Methe was being held at the county jail until a bond hearing next week.

“Law-abiding citizens are frustrated with the failure of our criminal justice system that really does not deter crime,” Matthews said. “Situations like what occurred early this morning are more and more likely to be the result of that frustration.”