The pending criminal cases handled by two police officers now facing felony child abuse and neglect charges for injuries to their 3-month-old son are in limbo and might never reach a courtroom.
And while the court system tries to figure out what to do with all the arrests made by former York Police Cpl. Robert Jeffrey Taylor and former Chester Sgt. Audrey Schurig, Schurig is scheduled for a bond hearing Thursday and might face local charges before Taylor – who waived extradition but has not been picked up by South Carolina agents.
Schurig’s lawyer said Tuesday he was “disappointed” that police chose to arrest the couple at the Charlotte hospital where the baby is still being treated rather than arresting them in York County. The arrests outside South Carolina forced extradition hearings and came after more than two weeks of investigation into what happened to the child and who might be at fault.
Rock Hill attorney Gary Lemel – who is representing Schurig in the abuse case and an ongoing state Department of Social Services abuse and neglect case involving the baby – said Schurig is neither a flight risk nor a threat to the community. If a judge grants Schurig bond in Charlotte, Lemel said, she would surrender in York County.
“We are disappointed that we were not given the opportunity to report to law enforcement here in York County for the service of the warrants,” Lemel said. “We expect Audrey to be released soon from Charlotte, and upon her release we will ensure that she will appear to resolve these warrants.”
Schurig has a bond hearing scheduled for Thursday morning in Charlotte on the fugitive warrant.
Taylor worked for the York, Rock Hill and Lancaster police departments before his arrest. He resigned his post as a corporal in the York Police Department on March 4, two days before State Law Enforcement Division agents charged him with child abuse and neglect in connection with the brain and neck injuries suffered by his and Schurig’s son.
Schurig resigned Tuesday as sergeant of the Road Division at the Chester Police Department. Before Chester, she worked at the York County Sheriff’s Office and the Tega Cay Police Department.
Taylor is charged with child abuse and child neglect, which carry a total sentence of 30 years in prison upon conviction. Schurig is charged with child neglect, which carries a sentence of 10 years.
Taylor and Schurig took the baby to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill last month. The child remains hospitalized at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. Rock Hill investigators asked SLED to investigate because Taylor worked for Rock Hill for several years.
Despite both officers’ having worked in York County, 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said there would be no conflict if his office handled their prosecution. The prosecutors assigned to the case have “no close relationship” with Taylor or Schurig, Brackett said.
The pending cases in which Taylor was involved in York County will be evaluated individually to see if they can move forward without his being “critical” to the prosecution, Brackett said.
“We will look at each case one by one,” Brackett said.
Taylor had worked patrol in York since coming to the department in July, Police Chief Andy Robinson said. If cases or traffic infractions involving Taylor can’t be disposed of with guilty pleas, he said, they might have to be dismissed. That’s a common practice when officers are fired or leave the department, he said.
Capt. Scott Grant, spokesman for the Lancaster Police Department where Taylor worked as a patrolman until leaving for York, said it remains unclear what would happen to any pending cases he was involved with there.
“We will have to look at the cases, though,” Grant said.
Efforts to reach Randy Newman, the Sixth Circuit Solicitor who handles cases in Lancaster and Chester counties, were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Andrew Dys • 803-329-4065