Retrial moved in case of SC police chief who shot black man

Former Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs, right, listens as opening statements are given in the first day of testimony of his murder trial in Orangeburg in January, which ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Combs is charged with murder for the shooting of Bernard Bailey, an unarmed black man. File/AP/Times & Democrat, Larry Hardy

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The retrial of a former South Carolina police chief charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man has been moved out of Orangeburg County where the incident occurred.

Former Eutawville Police Chief Richard Combs was charged with murder after shooting Bernard Bailey three times in May 2011.

Jurors deliberated 12 hours in January before telling Circuit Judge Edgar Dickson they could not reach a verdict and he declared a mistrial.

Dickson signed an order last Friday approving a change of venue for the retrial which had been set to begin next Monday in Orangeburg. The case will now be heard in Columbia, about 35 miles away on Interstate 26.

Combs’ attorneys asked for, but were denied, a change of venue when the original trial opened.