Pinewood man charged with attempted murder after fleeing checkpoint

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A Pinewood man was charged with attempted murder after allegedly running a safety checkpoint being staged by the Sumter Police Department. Dezmond A. Mitchell, 26, of 3548 Bomar Trail in Pinewood, was initially charged by authorities early July 22 with failure to stop for a blue light; possession of a weapon; possession of a controlled substance; driving under the influence, first offense; and open container. Mitchell allegedly fled the checkpoint about 11:45 p.m. July 21 and ultimately wrecked at the intersection of Fulton Street and Lafayette Drive near downtown Sumter shortly after midnight. While he was being booked at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center, authorities connected him to an attempted murder case that was still under investigation by the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. According to a report obtained from that agency, Mitchell was one of four passengers in a vehicle from which a 21-year-old woman said shots were fired at her car while she was driving on Interstate 95 on May 20. The victim, a Florence woman, said the incident happened on the Sumter County portion of the interstate, near mile-marker 138. She told deputies that a bluish-gray Nissan Altima bearing the tag HLC-487 pulled up beside her and fired about five gun shots. She said when she arrived home, she found bullet holes in the driver's side door of the vehicle. The woman said she did not know who the suspects were in the other vehicle, and deputies suspected it was due to a road rage incident. Charges for others involved in the incident are unknown as of Sunday afternoon.

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