A convicted felon facing federal charges in the shooting of a Fort Mill police officer during a drug raid in Rock Hill wants his statements to police and a search warrant thrown out of court.
Lawyers for Tymon Wells, 32, said in federal court Friday in Columbia that they want more information about the confidential informant York County drug agents used in the investigation that targeted Wells before the incident escalated into gunfire, and two police officers - and Wells himself - were shot.
During the Feb. 3 incident on Arlington Avenue, where Wells lived with his girlfriend and her small children, court documents show police had a search warrant obtained from an earlier drug deal involving a confidential informant.
After police were in the house, Wells fired, and Fort Mill Police Officer Will Reap was shot in the upper arm. Wells was shot in the leg and foot when Reap returned fire, and Rock Hill Police Officer Trista Baird was shot in the wrist outside the house.
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None of the injuries were life-threatening. The officers have returned to work, and Wells remains in federal custody without bond.
Police seized crack, cocaine, scales and $669 in cash during the raid, according to court documents. Two small children were in the house during the shooting, but they were not hurt.
Wells made several statements to police after the shooting, claiming he kept the gun as protection after a recent neighborhood robbery and that he fired a warning shot because he thought the people barging into his house were going to rob him.
Still, documents show he admitted to investigators that he heard the words "police" and "search warrant."
Wells talked to two police officers at the scene, then gave statements to the drug unit commander and State Law Enforcement Division agents.
Wells' lawyer, Josh Kendrick, is arguing that the first statements came without Wells' being informed of his rights, so all admissions can't be used against Wells.
The statements were made by Wells "in response to interrogation while under arrest," according to court documents filed by Wells.
Federal prosecutor Bob Jendron said Wells volunteered statements at his home, at the hospital and at the Rock Hill Police Department. Court documents show that Wells even signed a waiver of rights form before speaking to SLED agents.
Wells was "anxious to justify why he had shot a police officer," prosecutors claim.
Wells is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine and crack cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
He could face 40 years in prison if convicted and faces a mandatory sentence if convicted of the weapons charge.
Before federal authorities took over the case, Wells had been charged in state court on 10 counts, including five drug charges and two assault and battery with intent to kill charges.
Kendrick, Wells' defense lawyer, also claimed in court Friday that he does not think the informant bought the drugs from Wells.
Police have an audiotape of the drug buy that led to the search warrant, according to testimony Friday.
Kendrick wants more information about the informant, but prosecutors are fighting it because the informant is "valuable to the Rock Hill Police Department" and "the informant's life could be in jeopardy," Jendron said in court Friday.
No decisions were made by U.S. District Court Judge Cameron Currie Friday about what evidence will be admitted.
The case could be sent to trial as early as February.