COLUMBIA — The federal ammunition trial for a man accused of abducting a Columbia teen is delayed and the man’s attorney said Tuesday that his client might plead guilty if he loses an argument to suppress certain evidence.
U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie said during a brief hearing that Freddie Grant can have more time to prepare his case because he recently retained a new attorney.
Currie set a January court date for Grant, 52, who has pleaded not guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition. During a search of Grant’s house for Gabbiee Swainson, a 15-year-old Richland County girl last seen in August, authorities found .38-caliber bullets and shotgun shells, ammunition Grant isn’t allowed to have as a convicted felon.
Local authorities also lodged a kidnapping charge against Grant after the girl’s blood was found on duct tape near his home. Authorities have said he had dated Gabbiee’s mother and used a key he claimed to have lost to enter the family’s home and take the girl.
On Tuesday, John Delgado, Grant’s new attorney on the federal charge, said he would plan to file court papers next month arguing that some evidence authorities have uncovered against his client should be suppressed.
Currie tentatively set a January trial date for Grant, but Delgado also said in court that his client would likely plead guilty if he loses the evidence motion.
Grant didn’t speak much in court Tuesday, only answering routine questions from the judge on whether he understood the delay in his trial.
Gabbiee was last seen by her mother at around 4 a.m. on Aug. 18. Elvia Swainson has said she saw her daughter before she left for work in the northeast Columbia suburbs. When the mother returned home several hours later, Gabbiee’s alarm clock was ringing, and her daughter was gone.