Deputies arrested three people they say set a 16-year-old boy's vehicle on fire to try to stop him from testifying in a criminal case.
Robert Fletcher Herbert, 42, his 39-year-old live-in girlfriend Lashanda Elaine Ball and the girlfriend’s 19-year-old son Deandre Ball set the boy's vehicle on fire using a molotov cocktail around 3 a.m. on July 12, according to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.
The boy provided detectives with information that led to the arrest of Herbert in connection with a robbery at a West Columbia gun store, according to the sheriff's department. The boy will also be a prosecution witness in Herbert's upcoming trial.
Deputies say Herbert stole a pickup truck from Bowen's Auto Body and Paint on Emmanuel Church Road in West Columbia between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. on March 27.
He used the truck to break into the rear door of S&R Gun Sales on the same road, deputies say, and got away with eight handguns worth about $4,220.
Herbert was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of grand larceny and one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a person who previously was convicted of a violent felony, according to the sheriff's department. He was released from the county detention center on April 15 after posting a bail of $87,130.
After being released from jail, Herbert, his girlfriend Lashanda Ball and her son Deandre Ball made threats to physically harm the 16-year-old boy for
providing information to detectives that led to Herbert's arrest, according to the sheriff's department.
Deputies arrested Herbert again on July 14 and charged him with third-degree arson, intentionally detonating a destructive device and intimidating a witness in a criminal court case, according to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department. He was being held at the Lexington County Detention Center Tuesday on a bail of more than $1 million.
Deputies also arrested Deandre Ball and Lashanda Ball on July 12. Deandre is charged with third-degree arson, conspiring to execute a bomb threat and intimidating a witness in a criminal court case. Lashanda is charged with intimidating a witness in a criminal court case.
Lashanda Ball posted a bond of $10,000 Friday and was released from jail, according to the sheriff's department.