2 wrongfully arrested for murder suing fmr. Sheriff for slander

In July of 2015, Roytavus Blanding was shot during a drive by shooting on West Whitner Street. Four months later, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to announce a “gang round up” of 7 people, who they say were involved in Blanding’s murder.

Those 7 people included Tanisa Hailey and Deandra Burris. Each sat in jail for nearly 30 days, continuing to proclaim their innocence.

In September of 2016, all charges against the 7 people in the “gang roundup” were quietly dropped, but the lasting marks of being labeled a murderer are still there.

“We thought it was over but it isn’t, stuff is still on our record, I still can’t get a job,” said Burris. “Still can’t real go anywhere without people looking at you different,” said Hailey.

Hailey and Burris , along with their lawyer Donald Smith are now suing the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, former Sheriff John Skipper, and the investigators over the case for false imprisonment and slander.

After the charges were dropped the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:

“Following its initial homicide investigation of Roytavus Blanding, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office issued murder warrants for multiple people.

Those warrants have now been dismissed pending further investigation by the ACSO leading to any additional evidence that would support convictions in this case.

If such evidence comes to light, new charges may be refiled and our office will evaluate them at that time. As this is considered an ongoing investigation, my office will have no further comment at this time.”

There have been no other arrests made in the case of Roytavus Blanding.

In July of 2015, Roytavus Blanding was shot during a drive by shooting on West Whitner Street. Four months later, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to announce a “gang round up” of 7 people, who they say were involved in Blanding’s murder.

Those 7 people included Tanisa Hailey and Deandra Burris. Each sat in jail for nearly 30 days, continuing to proclaim their innocence.

In September of 2016, all charges against the 7 people in the “gang roundup” were quietly dropped, but the lasting marks of being labeled a murderer are still there.

“We thought it was over but it isn’t, stuff is still on our record, I still can’t get a job,” said Burris. “Still can’t real go anywhere without people looking at you different,” said Hailey.

Hailey and Burris, along with their lawyer Donald Smith are now suing the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, former Sheriff John Skipper, and the investigators over the case for false imprisonment and slander.

After the charges were dropped the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:

“Following its initial homicide investigation of Roytavus Blanding, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office issued murder warrants for multiple people. Those warrants have now been dismissed pending further investigation by the ACSO leading to any additional evidence that would support convictions in this case. If such evidence comes to light, new charges may be refiled and our office will evaluate them at that time. As this is considered an ongoing investigation, my office will have no further comment at this time.”

There have been no other arrests made in the case of Roytavus Blanding.

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