Man indicted in plot to kill SC prison guard

By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - An Orangeburg man has been charged with conspiring to kill a South Carolina prison guard wounded in a hit authorities have said was orchestrated behind bars with an illegal cellphone.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said 29-year-old Sean Echols was arraigned Thursday. Nettles says Echols conspired to kill Capt. Robert Johnson in exchange for $6,000.

Johnson was a Corrections Department veteran who oversaw efforts to keep contraband like cellphones out of Lee Correctional Institution. In 2010, he was shot six times at his Sumter home, and police say an inmate used a cellphone smuggled into prison to organize the hit.

Court records listed no attorney for Echols.

Johnson retired in 2011. He is currently suing cellphone companies he says could have blocked inmates' phone calls but didn't.


Kinnard can be reached at

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