Columbia, South Carolina — Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart announced today that a Federal Grand Jury in Columbia returned a multiple-count indictment in connection with the destruction of Bishopville’s Post Office and damage to Bishopville’s City Hall.
Jeffrey Albert Scott, 61, of Bishopville, was charged in a five-count indictment with three counts of malicious damage to a building by means of fire and two counts of destruction of letter boxes and mail.
The indictment alleges that on or about January 19, 2017, Scott set fire to the Bishopville Post Office, also damaging the mail boxes inside. The indictment further alleges that on or about October 17, 2020, just a few years later, Scott again set fire to the Bishopville Post Office, as well as Bishopville City Hall. The fire destroyed the Post Office, including the mail within.
Scott, who has pleaded not guilty on all five charges, was arraigned Tuesday by a United States Magistrate Judge in Columbia. He is currently detained pending trial and is in custody on related state charges in Sumter County.
The case was investigated by a joint team of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; South Carolina Law Enforcement Division; the Bishopville Police Department, and the Lee County Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek A. Shoemake is prosecuting the case.
Acting U.S. Attorney DeHart stated that all charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.