Former Chief Justice Finney found after brief disappearance

Ernest Finney (AP Photo/Brett Flashnick)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Deputies say 85-year-old former South Carolina Chief Justice Ernest Finney was found safe after being missing for a little over an hour.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news release that Finney drove off from his home northeast of Columbia around 4:30 p.m. Friday. The sheriff’s office sent out the notice Finney was missing less than an hour later.

Deputies say Finney was found about 45 miles away in Lee County and appeared to be OK, but paramedics were checking him out.

Lott says Finney has a very serious medical condition that put him in extreme risk.

Finney became the first African-American to become chief justice in South Carolina in 1994. He spent nearly 15 years on the state’s highest court.

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