CCSO: Stabbing suspect had drugs when arrested

James Levi Clewis
James Levi Clewis

The man charged with the county’s first serious assault of the year had a cigarette box of narcotics between his buttocks, according to the sheriff’s office.

James Levi Clewis, 29, of Chadbourn, was held under a $63,500 secured bond on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, possession of a controlled substance in a jail, and possession of tobacco by an inmate.

The sheriff’s office reported that a 911 call sent law enforcement to the Sam’s Pit Stop in Hallsboro Jan. 1 around 2:30 p.m. A Lake Waccamaw officer was the first on scene, and found Bradley Joseph Martin being treated by EMS for stab wounds. Witness said he was stabbed seven or eight times. Martin, 30, was transported to Columbus Regional for non-life threatening injuries.

Detectives used surveillance tapes and witness statements to piece together the incident. Two suspects and a vehicle were identified, the sheriff’s office said.

Martin was reportedly sitting in his vehicle at the Pit Stop when Clewis approached him and hit Martin in the face. Martin then exited the vehicle and Clewis attacked him, sustaining several cuts and stab wounds. Clewis was also injured.

Deputies made contact with Clewis and escorted him to Columbus Regional for treatment of injuries to his hand, the sheriff’s office said. He was then interviewed by detectives at the Law Enforcement Center. While he was being taken before a magistrate, deputies asked Clewis if he had any contraband. Clewis told the officers he did not, but a search during processing turned up a cigarette box between his buttocks that contained both cigarettes and Suboxone strips.

The sheriff’s office did not release the name of the second suspect. Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call 642.6551.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at