Fairfield County Sheriff Herman W. Young resigns

By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

July 25, 2014

WINNSBORO — Fairfield County officials announced Tuesday that Sheriff Herman Young has decided to resign as Sheriff of Fairfield County after 22 years.

Recent medical concerns have caused Sheriff Young to reassess his personal and professional life, according to a press release sent out by the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office. In doing so, Young decided it would be best to spend more time with his family despite his strong desire to continue serving the community.

“This has not been an easy decision to make,” Young wrote in a statement. “On one hand, I have a strong passion to continue serving this great community that has supported me for so many years. On the other hand, I must think of my health and what really matters in life - my family. The Office of Sheriff can be rather stressful and at this point in my life, I believe it would be best for me to slow down and spend more time with my loved ones. It has truly been an honor to serve as your Sheriff for the past 22 years. Thank you for all of the support you have given me over the years.”

Young was first elected as sheriff in 1992. He is Fairfield County’s first African-American sheriff. After winning the most recent election, he stated that his current term (2012-2016) would be his last.

During his career as Sheriff, Young implemented the Summer Kids Camp; the Home Alone Program which has been nationally recognized; was selected as Sheriff of the Year by his colleagues; was nationally recognized for solving a twenty year old murder; and also was responsible for the largest drug arrest in the history of Fairfield County.

He has also served as President of the S. C. Sheriff’s Association.

After winning his first election in 1992, Young vowed to solve a 20-year-old cold case involving the 1967 shooting death of Ronald “Red”Beasley. The death was originally declared as a suicide, however Young strongly believed that was inaccurate.

Young considered Beasley a friend and ended up convicting Beasley’s wife of murder. Re-opening and solving the cold case gained Young national recognition.

The coroner’s report in 1967 ruled Beasley’s death a suicide, but Young never believed it. When he became sheriff 25 years later he re-opened the case.

In 1996, Beasley’s former wife Frances Beasley was charged with his murder. Frances Beasley was serving time at a prison in Virginia for murdering her second husband.

Frances told police that “Red” loaded a .22-caliber rifle and fired it at her before turning the rifle on himself. However, “Red” had suffered a stroke just a few months earlier and was unable to walk and required constant care.

Governor Nikki Haley issued a statement Tuesday in response to Young resigning his position as sheriff.

“Not only has Sheriff Young been an amazing public servant for 22 years but he is also a dear friend,” Haley stated. “We are proud to celebrate his wonderful years of service. He is moving on from this post the same way he led the community of Fairfield County, with strength and grace. Michael and I, along with everyone in South Carolina, owe him a debt of gratitude.”

Haley appointed an interim sheriff on Wednesday until a special election can be held.

Candidates for sheriff will have to file with the Fairfield County Voter’s Registration office. For filing information, candidates can contact the office by:

• Mail: 315 South Congress Street Winnsboro, SC 29180

• Phone: 803-635-6255

• Fax: 803-635-5095

• Email: voterreg@fairfieldsc.com

Filing will open on Aug. 8 and close on Aug. 18. The primary election will be held Sept. 30 and a run-off (if needed) will be held Oct. 14. The actual election will be held Nov. 18.