WALTERBORO, SC (May 10, 2023) – A Walterboro man who had a history of harassing an ex-girlfriend has been convicted of breaking into her house and assaulting a man inside.
Robert Anthony Carter, 34, of Smoak Road, was convicted Tuesday of first-degree burglary and third-degree assault and battery following a two-day jury trial at the Colleton County Courthouse. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“Even though Mr. Carter had been previously banned from the victim’s property, he chose to escalate the situation with violence,” said Julie Kate Keeney of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “With this conviction, Mr. Carter is being held accountable for his actions and the community is safer because he is behind bars.”
Just after 1 a.m. Oct. 22, 2019, Carter forced his way into the victim’s house through a window. Once inside, Carter argued with his former girlfriend and punched her new boyfriend on the left side of his face.
Carter had threatened the man the day before at a Colleton County boat landing, telling him: “I will see you soon.” He made good on his promise and went to his former girlfriend’s house that evening, first at 10:30 p.m. He returned three times before breaking into the house during the fourth visit a about 1:15 a.m. Each time, Carter was yelling, shooting what sounded like a pellet and breaking lights. Each time, he ran into the woods before law enforcement could arrive. Carter was later arrested at his home.
Carter’s prior record includes convictions for driving under suspension (2009); failure to stop for blue light and driving under suspension (2011); criminal domestic violence 1st, failure to stop for a blue light and probation violation (2014); giving false information, receiving stolen goods more than $10,000 and probation violation (2015); possession of marijuana (2018); and harassment (2022).
Circuit Court Judge Benjamin H. Culberston handed down Tuesday’s sentence.
Assistant Solicitor Jill Contestabile assisted with prosecuting the case.
Keeney oversees prosecutions in Colleton County. She has been a prosecutor for 11 years.
If you, or someone you know has suffered from domestic abuse, help is available by calling the 14th Circuit Victims Services Center at (843) 790-6220 or emailing [email protected]. Many nonprofit groups and government agencies in the 14ht Judicial Circuit can provide assistance in the state’s first Family Justice Center, accredited by the Alliance for Hope International.