When asked about the nation’s justice system, longtime local attorney Tommy Brittain often refers to Shakespeare in an effort to give his best explanation.
“I don’t know if you’re into poetry, but I often use Shakespeare’s lament in ‘Hamlet’ about ‘The Law’s Delay’ as a perfect example,” he said. “For whatever reason, (the law’s delay) is part of our culture in the justice system.”
Particularly, in the case of Brittain’s client, longtime Conway High football coach Chuck Jordan, it could mean an extended period away from the practice field and sideline during the 2017 gridiron season.
With summer drills a few weeks away, the Tigers have tabbed offensive coordinator Carlton Terry as their acting head football coach.
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Terry has served on the Conway High staff since 1993, taking the reins of its offense in 2014. He also played for Jordan in the mid-80s, earning a scholarship to Western Carolina under his tutelage.
“Basically, I am the go to guy until things are resolved (in Jordan’s case),” Terry said. “It is important for the kids to have a sense of direction, and to keep things as normal as possible. And I feel we’ve done a good job of that thus far.”
Terry will serve in the longtime Conway coach’s stead as Jordan fights charges of third-degree assault and battery stemming from an on-campus incident in late May between him, 17-year-old KaBrian Hickman and a substitute teacher. According to an arrest warrant issued by the Conway Police Department and obtained last month by The Sun News, the longtime Conway football coach is alleged to have “unlawfully and without just cause placed his hand on (the student’s) neck and shoulder area.”
For his role in the incident, Hickman faces a charge of disturbing schools. Both were released on recognizance bonds.
Each has also requested a jury trial, which according to Brittain could cause matters to stall even more.
“The fact a jury trial is wanted will make things slow down a bit,” Brittain said. “It’s a tough pill to chew on, and it’s unfortunate for Coach Jordan, but we can only get done with this as quickly as the justice system allows.”
A call to Hickman’s legal counsel, attorney George E. Graham, was not returned.
The substitute teacher in question may be taken off a district-wide list of those standing in for regular instructors when they are absent, pending results of an investigation by Horry County Schools.
Jordan is on administrative leave with pay, pending an investigation by Horry County Schools. Roaming the Conway sideline since 1983, his 275 wins ranks him eighth all-time among high school football coaches in South Carolina.
The next docket of jury trials for Conway Municipal Court has not been set. Teams across the Palmetto State are permitted to begin summer practice on July 28, in accordance with S.C. High School League rules.