53-year-old Freddie Grant, the prime suspect in last year’s kidnapping of Columbia teen Gabbiee Swainson, was sentenced in federal court Thursday to more than 17 years for ammunition charges. Grant, as a convicted felon, is not allowed to own ammo.
The 14-year-old Swainson has not been seen since she disappeared from her home in August. Her father Alvin Thompson said he’s glad Grant is behind bars but all he really wants to know what happened to his daughter.
“We still don’t know her whereabouts or anything like that, but I do feel good about them taking him off the street so he won’t be able to hurt your sons or your daughters,” he said after the ruling.
Grant’s comparatively harsh 212-month sentence was largely due to the fact that Judge Cameron Currie agreed with prosecutors who said Grant had convinced his daughter Dominique Grant to commit perjury during his trial. Dominque Grant testified that she brought the ammunition to her father’s house to store it. Federal attorneys also argued the ammunition showed Mr. Grant was an armed “career criminal.”
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says the judge reaffirmed that Grant is not a good guy. “I think everyone in the courtroom today heard what I’ve been saying about him from day one,” Lott told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Columbia, “I don’t think you can describe a monster any better than the judge did up there today.”
Grant’s attorney John Delgado says his client has not yet been convicted for any kidnapping and the evidence against Grant is not up to par. “If the good sheriff has that evidence…bring it! He won’t because he can’t.”
Delgado said he would appeal the decision, insisting sheriff’s deputies had illegally obtained a warrant to search Grant’s Elgin home. Deputies found the illegal ammunition during that search.
Grant does face kidnapping charges in Richland County. Investigators say he is still not cooperating with them. That case is still pending.