The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office charged Rep. Chris Corley (R) with first-degree domestic violence and pointing and presenting a firearm for the Monday incident, according to the Post and Courier. The newspaper reported that Corley was released after posting $20,000 bail on the condition that he have no contact with his wife or be in possession of a firearm.
According to an incident report obtained by the Post and Courier, Corley’s wife told police that he punched her in the face repeatedly in front of two children, aged 2 and 8, after he had been “caught cheating.” She alleged that he only stopped hitting her when the children began screaming and he saw blood coming from her head. Corley then allegedly retrieved a handgun from a vehicle outside, pointed it at her, and said he was going to kill himself before going into a bedroom, according to his wife.
The two federal charges Corley faces carry a maximum collective sentence of 15 years in prison.
The Palmetto State Republican made national headlines last year for his strong support for keeping the Confederate battle flag at the Statehouse after Dylann Roof’s racially-motivated murder of nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston. Last December, after his colleagues voted to remove it, he sent out a Christmas card that showed the Statehouse with the Confederate flag in the foreground and a message that they should “ask for forgiveness for all your sins such as betrayal.”
The Post and Courier noted that Corley is also a strong supporter of gun rights who voted for a failed effort to allow all out-of-state gun owners to carry concealed weapons in South Carolina.