Solicitor Walt Wilkins III said the Easley woman killed along with her son August 30 and filed charges against her killer four years ago.
Sandra Lee Michelle Smith Thomas, 42, and her son Daniel Gabriel Smith, 15, were killed by Thomas' husband William D. Thomas, 61, who then killed himself.
Wilkins spoke about the tragedy Thursday evening at a Pickens County Taxpayers Association meeting.
William Thomas was charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, but charges were dropped.
“It was in my office,” he said, of the case. “I reviewed the file today. She wrote two letters: 'I do not want to pursue these charges, I do not want to pursue these charges.'”
Stan Whitten, who is running for Pickens County Sheriff, spoke to Wilkins about Criminal Domestic Violence cases.
“It's the only case in South Carolina we're mandated to make an arrest on, if there's manifestation of injuries,” he said. “If the victim does not show up – we did our job, we made the arrest because we're mandated to do it - but if she decides to drop the case, (your office) can't do anything about it.”
Wilkins said his office now approaches those cases from a different direction.
“We now evaluate it on if we have other evidence to still prove the case,” Wilkins said. “Even if she recants, she may be on the stand and lie …. we tried one case where the victim was over there massaging the defendant's shoulders. But if there's third party evidence, (we can pursue).”
Wilkins spoke again of the double murder and suicide.
“She said initially that he put a gun to the back of her head,” he said. “We had no gun. We had no other corroborating evidence of her story, and then she recants. I cannot prove that case in trial. Had we been able to do something back in 2008, maybe last week would be different. I don't know.
“I worry about that every single night,” Wilkins continued. “Law enforcement worries about that. That's the biggest fear I have – that CDV case that turns into something bad later.