Coronavirus and jail: York County SC grants $10k bail to alt-right white nationalist

Judge Dan Hall denied bond to white nationalist Augustus Invictus on Friday at the Moss Justice...
Judge Dan Hall denied bond to white nationalist Augustus Invictus on Friday at the Moss Justice Center in York. He’s charged with kidnapping his wife and kids at gunpoint.(Photo by Tracy Kimball/ Rock Hill Herald)
Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 10:58 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

YORK, S.C. (Andrew Dys/ Rock Hill Herald) - An alt-right white nationalist from Florida who sought bail from jail in South Carolina due to coronavirus concerns has been granted bond, court documents show.

Lawyers for Augustus Sol Invictus asked for bail in court Friday because the health threat has halted jury trials indefinitely in South Carolina, and because of health concerns for York County jail inmates.

There have been no coronavirus cases reported at the jail through Tuesday, York County officials said.

South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Dan Hall granted Invictus a $10,000 bond Tuesday on charges of domestic violence and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to a court order signed by Hall.

The order takes effect at noon Wednesday, and requires Invictus to leave York County, the document shows. Invictus also cannot go to North Carolina, the order states.

Invictus’ lawyers said he should be able to post bail at noon Wednesday.

“We expect Mr. Invictus will be able to post bond and will go to Florida,” said Invictus’ lead lawyer, York County assistant public defender Jeff Zuschke.

Invictus will return to York County for any further court proceedings as required by the court order, Zuschke said.

Zuschke said the bond is appropriate after coronavirus concerns forced all trials to be delayed indefinitely and emergency bond hearings were held over the past three weeks for inmates.

Invictus, 36, was arrested in Florida in late December after an incident in Rock Hill on Dec. 12. He has been in jail in York County without bail since being extradited in January.

Invictus, a lawyer, is a former U.S. senate candidate from Florida who police have said in court has made online postings about violence and overthrowing American institutions. Invictus’ Twitter social media page states he is a candidate for president.

Invictus has put out social media postings about his treatment by authorities while being jailed in York County since January, court testimony showed.

Prosecutors opposed bond because Invictus was a threat to the victim in the case and the public, and sought support from followers of his political ideology, testimony showed in Friday’s court hearing.

Invictus choked his wife and held a gun to his wife’s head during the Dec. 12 incident, police and prosecutors say. The Herald is not naming the wife.

Invictus and Zuschke have said in court that Invictus denies all the charges and wants a trial to clear his name.

Zuschke acknowledged in court Friday Invictus operates an “alt-right news site” and has updated that site while in jail. Although the name of the web site was not named in court, the web site has published Invictus’ statements while jailed. The site also has published photos of previous Invictus court hearings.

Zuschke said Invictus has rights as an American citizen who has not been convicted of any crime.

Each case over the past three weeks that has been heard in York County court was considered an emergency hearing due to fears that a high number of jail inmates could be dangerous if the virus and Covid-19 infections hits the jail population, court officials told The Herald last week.

Invictus faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted of the domestic violence charge and five years on the gun charge under South Carolina law.

No trial date has been set because of coronavirus effects on court scheduling, Zuschke said.

16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said he was aware of bond being granted in the case but declined further comment.

Invictus spoke at the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. One woman was killed and several people were hurt when James Fields rammed his car into a crowd.

Invictus has acknowledged that he is friends with white supremacists and, though he denied his affiliation then, was praised and credited by white nationalist leader Richard Spencer as writing the first draft of the Charlottesville statement, according to the Miami Herald.

Invictus ran for Senate in Florida in 2016 as a libertarian.

Now an Orlando, Fla.-area attorney, Invictus runs The Revolutionary Conservative, a website marketed as an alternative to conservative media that “play the victim” and calls for a violent uprising, the Miami Herald reported.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2020 Rock Hill Herald. All rights reserved.