A former Graniteville legislator will plead guilty next week to a domestic violence charge, according to prosecutors.
The spokesman for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday confirmed a report by the Aiken Standard that former State Rep. Chris Corley will agree to a plea deal. The Republican resigned from office in January to face the charges.
Corley agreed to plead guilty to first-degree domestic violence, according to AG’s Office spokesman Robert Kittle. As part of the deal, prosecutors would drop the more severe charge of domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and a third charge of pointing a presenting a firearm.
State Circuit Judge Doyet Early III will handle Corley’s plea hearing on Monday. Corley faces up to 10 years in prison, but would almost certainly receive less given his cooperation and lack of previous criminal history. He had faced a maximum 25 years in prison under the previous charges.
Corley was arrested by Aiken County deputies in December after they accused him of repeatedly punching his wife in the face and threatening to kill her and himself in the presence of their children. Mrs. Corley called 911 to report the incident. In the recordings made public after Corley’s arrest, children could be heard shouting for “Daddy” to stop before the call dropped.
He was suspended after an Aiken County grand jury indicted him on the more serious high and aggravated nature charge. He eventually resigned from the House of Representatives roughly a month after his arrest — and only after House leaders had begun taking steps to expel him.
Mrs. Corley submitted a request last month to dismiss the charges, stating, “I wish to have these charges dismissed because it is in the best interest of my children and myself.” Corley’s attorney John Delgado told The Standard at the time that Mrs. Corley felt the case had exacerbated beyond what she actually wanted. A no contact order was lifted in March.
However, Kittle said state prosecutors felt the charges were too serious to drop.