Aiken County Rep. Chris Corley was arrested Tuesday on charges of punching his wife in the face and pointing a 9mm pistol at her when she accused him of cheating, according to Aiken County Sheriff’s records.
Corley, R-Graniteville, was charged with criminal domestic violence in the first degree, which is a felony, and pointing and presenting firearms at a person. The 36-year-old legislator faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the domestic violence charge.
Corley’s wife of 12 years said Corley threatened to kill her in front of two of their three children on Monday, according to a Aiken County Sheriff’s Office incident report. She said he only stopped because their children were screaming and Corley noticed blood on her head.
Corley’s wife – who is not being named by The State newspaper – said the state legislator grabbed a handgun from a vehicle outside of their home and pointed it at her, according to the report.
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He then went into a bedroom, after saying he “was going to kill himself.” Once Corley headed for the bedroom, his wife and their children ran to her mother’s house across the street, the report said.
Corley told the responding deputy that he and his wife got into an argument, because she thought he was cheating on her, the report said. He said his wife tried to punch him in the face, but he pushed her off. She scratched his forehead, while he pushed her, according to the report.
The arrest warrant does not say if the Smith & Wesson SD9VE Corley 9mm allegedly pointed at his wife belongs to him. Sheriff’s deputies arrived around 9:50 p.m., Monday, but arrested him around 1:15 a.m., Tuesday, according to the report. He was taken to the Aiken County Detention Center where he’s awaiting a bond hearing at 3 p.m.
Corley was elected in 2014. He is known most famously for suggesting the Confederate battle flag that flew over the State House grounds be replaced with a white flag of surrender when Gov. Nikki Haley pushed for the flag’s removal in the wake of the Emanuel Nine shootings in a Charleston church.
In December 2015, Corley sent a Christmas card featuring a photo of the Confederate flag at the State House to some his fellow representatives.
Check back for updates to this developing story.