Invictus denied bail from York County SC jail after he was previously freed
YORK COUNTY, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - A Florida man, accused of stalking his wife after he was previously released from jail, will now remain in the York County jail after bond was denied by a South Carolina judge.
Circuit Court Judge Bill McKinnon denied bond to Augustus Invictus at a hearing Thursday in York.
However, Invictus can request another bond hearing before his trial, which has been postponed by coronavirus, the judge ruled.
Invictus, 36, has been in York County jail since May. He had been arrested in Florida a month earlier and charged with stalking his wife while out on bail.
Invictus faces charges related to weapons and domestic violence last December. He is charged with choking his wife and putting a gun to her head while in Rock Hill, according to court records.
He has said in court previously that he is innocent of all charges. The Herald is not naming the wife.
Invictus had been denied bail until March. Then he was freed in April on $10,000 bond after the COVID-19 pandemic forced all jury trials to be postponed. He went to Florida and was set to stay there until his trial.
A York County judge revoked his bond in May because of the arrest in Florida, court documents show.
Invictus said in court Thursday he had a right to see his kids, and that was not banned by his release on bail or a February York County Family Court protective order.
“My only concern here is that she is trying to prevent me from talking to my sons,” Invictus said.
Testimony in court Thursday revealed that Invictus had sent pictures of his wife’s vehicle license plate to people while in Florida. Invictus’ lawyer, Jeff Zuschke of the 16th Circuit Public Defender’s Office, said that was because Invictus was trying to serve his wife with divorce papers.
Zuschke claimed in court the wife went to Florida after Invictus was out on bond to “set up” Invictus and have him put back in jail. Invictus saw his wife at a Florida park days after his April release, Zuschke said. Invictus then reported to his lawyers that he saw his wife, Zuschke said.
McKinnon said he was “very concerned” that Invictus was sending photos of license plates of the person he was supposed to have no contact with. McKinnon said he also had concerns that any contact between Invictus and the wife would have been a violation of the April bond conditions that Invictus had agreed to.
“You can’t be tracking people down and serving papers. That’s contact,” McKinnon said.
Invictus is a defense lawyer who unsuccessfully ran as a Libertarian for U.S. Senate in Florida in 2016. His Twitter social media page has a link to a site that states he is a candidate for president and he has made public speeches and writings about the failings of the government and judicial system. Zuschke said in court in February Invictus is a alt-right public figure because of his political activities.
“He (Invictus) has no history of violence outside of rhetoric,” Zuschke said in court Thursday.
York County prosecutor Jenny Desch of the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said in court that Invictus knew he was not to have contact with his wife.
At the time of the Florida stalking arrest, Invictus was being represented by his father, also a lawyer in Florida, in the custody battle in Florida, Desch said. Invictus’ father, John Gillespie, was arrested later in April by Florida police on charges of human trafficking and racketeering, according to testimony, court documents, and The Miami Herald.
Testimony in court Thursday showed there were text messages and communication between the wife and Invictus’ father through an older child’s cellphone, Desch said.
Police and prosecutors have told court officials, since Invictus was arrested, that he has a history of threatening violence in his writings, and remains a threat to his wife.
McKinnon said at the end of the hearing he wanted to see a transcript of the York County Family Court hearing earlier this year to determine if Invictus was barred by court order from any contact with his children.
Invictus can ask for another bond hearing when that transcript and the text message communications from Florida are available, McKinnon said.