Sheriff's Office decides against filing new charges in death of Forrest Carlton


The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has decided against filing additional charges in the death of Forrest Carlton, a 22-year-old autistic man fatally struck last year in a hit-and-run.

Carlton wandered away from South Carolina MENTOR group home, 2611 Church Creek Drive, and was struck in December, authorities reported.

Sheriff's deputies later charged Daniel Shirley, 19, of Hollywood, with leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury and death.

A wrongful death suit filed by Carlton's father alleged negligence on the part of the group home.

Carlton tried to wander from South Carolina MENTOR at least four times since moving into the facility in November 2012, alleged Nathan Hughey, an attorney for Carlton's family. The home's staff failed to heighten its supervision accordingly, he said.

Sheriff's deputies last week considered filing charges against members of the home's staff but ultimately decided against it, Maj. Eric Watson said.

"Although negligence may have occurred during this unfortunate incident, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office has determined that there is insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges in this case," Watson said. "If new evidence comes to light, CCSO will reevaluate this case."

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