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Sheriff James R. Metts

Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Deputies Arrest Man on Charges He Ran Over Girlfriend with Motor Vehicle

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested a 45-year-old Lexington man on Thursday, July 4 on charges that the man ran over and killed his 49-year-old girlfriend while the man was under the influence of alcohol and driving his girlfriend’s green 1999 Dodge Durango sport-utility vehicle on Decie Road near Leesville.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Traffic Division deputies arrested Charlie Austin Roof, 45, of 121 Clearstream Valley Road, Lexington, on a charge of felony driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that results in a death. Roof was being held on Friday, July 5 at the Lexington County Detention Center on a $200,000 bond.

Metts said the circumstances of the death of Roof’s girlfriend, Mary Jane Tucker, 49, of, 121 Clearstream Valley Road, Lexington, remain under investigation. Detectives are continuing to investigate how Tucker, who was riding as a passenger in her Dodge Durango, ended up outside the vehicle before the vehicle ran over her.

Deputies responded at about 3:03 p.m. on Thursday to investigate Tucker’s death, Metts said. Deputies found Tucker’s body lying on the roadway in the 200 block of Decie Road. Deputies found Tucker’s Dodge Durango parked in the middle of the roadway.

Deputies found Roof standing over the body of Tucker, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, Metts said. Deputies detected a strong odor of alcohol on Roof’s breath.

Roof told deputies that he and Tucker had been drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages and were engaged in a verbal dispute at the time of the incident, Metts said. The nature and circumstances of the verbal dispute between Roof and Tucker remain under investigation.

Witnesses told deputies that Roof drove away from a home on Decie Road, where Tucker had been visiting relatives, at a speed that caused the tires on Tucker’s Dodge Durango to spin in sand on the dirt road, Metts said. Deputies later found marks in the sand on the dirt road, where the tires on the Dodge Durango had dug holes in the surface of the dirt roadway.

Roof performed poorly on field sobriety tests that deputies directed Roof to perform at the scene of the incident, Metts said. Roof later refused to take a Datamaster test at the county Detention Center that would have been used to determine the amount of alcohol in Roof’s blood. Medical personnel at Lexington Medical Center drew samples of Roof’s blood, which later will be examined by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division in order to determine the amount of alcohol in Roof’s blood following the incident in which Tucker was killed.

Metts said the case involving Roof remains under investigation. The sheriff asked anyone with information about Roof or additional criminal activity involving Roof to contact the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Citizens also can provide information anonymously by accessing the Crime Tip link on the Sheriff’s Department web site (


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