Enquirer Herald

York man shot by police was probation fugitive

The man authorities say shot at police in York on Wednesday before he was killed by officers had been a fugitive from the state probation department for almost six months, according to state officials.

Larry Adams, 41, had not checked in with his probation officer since March, said Pete O'Boyle, a spokesman for the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. In April, state police classified Adams as an "absconder," O'Boyle said.

Probation officers had a warrant for Adams' arrest because he did not comply with required probation visits after he pleaded guilty in December to a burglary charge, O'Boyle said.

After the December court date that also required Adams receive in-patient drug treatment and submit to random drug testing, he only reported to probation officers in January and March, O'Boyle said. It is unclear whether Adams finished court-ordered drug treatment.

Adams died after he was shot by police officers on McClain Street in York, where police said he was found after an hours-long chase through the city, during which Adams shot at officers pursuing him. Many homes and a school had to be evacuated.

Adams allegedly burglarized two businesses Wednesday in southern York and the western part of the city before leading police on the chase. No officers were hurt.

Adams has arrests dating back to age 17, and was in prison twice and paroled twice including on burglary, drug and assault charges. He was given a probation sentence last year after pleading guilty to nonviolent burglary, court records show.

The prosecutor in the 2010 case, 16th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Mindy Hervey, said Thursday that the victim in the burglary - an acquaintance of Adams - did not want to cooperate with prosecutors and wanted the charges dropped after reporting the initial crime. But prosecutors were able to fashion a felony plea agreement that required Adams - who had prior convictions for burglary and drugs but had never been arrested for any crime with a weapon - be sentenced to probation that included the drug treatment requirement, Hervey said.

The December sentence included a 5-year prison term that was suspended upon successful completion of the terms of the guilty plea. If Adams had been picked up by probation agents or any other law enforcement agency, probation officers would have served the arrest warrant for violating probation, then would have asked a judge to sentence Adams to serve the five-year sentence for the burglary conviction, O'Boyle said.

"That's our standard procedure when someone like this violates the conditions of probation," O'Boyle said. "We ask that the original sentence be served."

State Law Enforcement Division arrest records do not show any arrest of Adams since his sentencing on the burglary in December. Probation agents check county jail records daily to see if any person charged has an active warrant for arrest for violating probation, O'Boyle said.

The shooting incident remains under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.