Security Guard's Murder Trial Could Begin in 2005

A security guard who police say shot a West Columbia, S.C., man at the apartment building where the guard worked is expected to face trial early next year.

Jason Michael Dickey, 30, is charged with murder in the April 30 shooting death of Joshua William Boot, 24. The shooting occurred outside the Cornell Arms apartments, 1230 Pendleton St., in downtown Columbia.

Boot was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the chest with a pistol, according to authorities.

Residents said Boot and another man arrived at the 19-story apartment building after attending a Jimmy Buffett concert with two women who lived in the building.

One resident said the shooting seemed to stem from an argument between the two men.

Prosecutor John Meadors declined to go into details concerning the case but said he is ready to go to trial.

He said the trial could begin as early as March or April.

Dickeys bond was set in May at $500,000. Since then, he has been released from jail.

Efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Dickey's attorney, Jack Swerling, said he has not had much time to look into the case because he has been working on a federal death penalty trial.

"Everything in my life has been put on hold," he said.

Efforts to reach the apartments' property manager were unsuccessful. Residents said Dickey had been a security guard there for a couple years. He was also a political science major at USC, according to school officials.

It is not known whether Dickey carried a gun as part of his job. Requirements for security officers vary.

Residents said the incident has not affected their sense of security.

"I feel fine," said Emily Reese, 24, who was standing outside the apartment building on Friday. "I take regular precautions. I have a fierce guard dog," she said of Lola, a French bulldog she had tethered on a leash.

Reese, who moved into the building after the shooting, said other residents had told her about the incident. But it did not deter her from moving in, she said.

Others shared Reese's belief.

"It was a one-time thing," said Casey Smith, 19, who moved in about the time the shooting occurred to be close to the USC campus.

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