South Carolina entrepreneur to face no charges in shooting

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say the founder of the clothing and apparel company Southern Tide won't face charges for fatally shooting a man who trespassed on his South Carolina estate.

Prosecutor Walt Wilkins said at a news conference Tuesday that businessman Allen Stephenson was justified in the early morning shooting March 19. The prosecutor says Stephenson was legally standing his ground on his property and is immune from prosecution.

Authorities say the 32-year-old entrepreneur shot Matthew Whitman as Whitman trespassed on the estate, its home patterned after a German castle, north of Greenville.

Wilkins says Stephenson initially fired two warning shots. After the man pulled out a hunting knife, Wilkins says, Stephenson shot him in the arm, chest and face.

In a statement, Whitman's relatives said they were disappointed with the decision.