Man with multiple convictions released on bond

by: Greg Suskin Updated:

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LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. —

Joseph Hinson, 26, has an extensive criminal record going back to 2003.

Channel 9 found the Lancaster man has 26 convictions for crimes ranging from traffic offenses, to drugs, theft and burglaries.

Yet, Hinson was out of jail on bond when sheriff's deputies said he broke into a home on Hoke Road in Lancaster County last week.

Guns, jewelry and electronics were taken from the house.

The news angered Gilliam Sowell. In August, Hinson was arrested for breaking into his son's home.

"It was like someone reaching in, ripping out your heart, and you're standing their watching, and there's nothing you can do about it," he said.

Hearing that Hinson was out of jail again, and had terrorized another family, he shook his head.

"That shows me a man who don't care," he said. "He don't care whether he gets caught or not. Not if they're just gonna slap him on the wrist."

Sheriff Barry Faile said he's frustrated that repeat offenders like Hinson keep making bond, and being released.
"If it was up to us, we'd put 'em in jail and leave them there," Faile said. "He gets out, and next thing he's back in here for burglary again."

Lancaster's chief magistrate judge Jacquelyn Pope said often bonds are set high enough to keep a person in jail, but they are later reduced by a circuit court judge.

Channel 9 was unable to find out late Wednesday how many times Hinson had a bond reduction, and how much the amount was lowered.

Calls to the Sixth Circuit Solicitor's Office and the Clerk of Court were not returned.

Faile said the county detention center is only supposed to house 121 inmates. However it is often overcrowded. Still, that doesn't bother him as much as the revolving door of the justice system.

"I don't care if we have 200 back there in jail. At least they're not out on the streets terrorizing the community," he said.
Sowell was relieved when he first heard that Hinson was charged in the break-in at his son's home. Now, he's not sure how to feel.

"They caught him, but it's like it was all in vain because nothing happened to him," he said.