Richland County Sheriff Opposes Cheatham Bond Reduction

Jamon Cheatham
Sarah Merriman and Rudy

Defense attorneys are requesting a lower bond for a man who attempted to murder a Richland County deputy. A bond reduction hearing for Jamon Cheatham is scheduled for tomorrow, March 8.

In August of 2022, Cheatham struck Special Response Team (SRT) Operator Sarah Merriman while attempting to flee in a stolen vehicle. Merriman sustained significant injury in the incident. She has since recovered and returned to serving our community with her K9 Rudy.

Sheriff Lott, a vocal opponent of the “catch-and-release” problem in our criminal justice system, strongly opposes this request.

“This suspect nearly killed one of my deputies and he should remain in jail while he awaits trial,” Lott said. “We know that an ankle monitor and house arrest does not deter crime.”

Cheatham was charged with Attempted Murder, Failure to Stop for Blue Lights & Siren Resulting in Great Bodily Injury, Hit & Run Resulting in Great Bodily Injury, and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. The 17-year-old was charged as an adult and has been held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center since the incident.

Cheatham’s initial bond was set at $150,000, with special conditions including house arrest and GPS monitoring.

The hearing will take place on Wednesday, March 8 at 2 p.m. at the Richland County Judicial Center. Sheriff Lott, SRT Operator Sarah Merriman, and other members of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department will attend to voice their opposition to this motion. Media are invited to attend by contacting the Richland County Clerk of Court.

Note: video of the initial incident can be found by searching “Cheatham” in the group.

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