The man accused of sexually abusing young children at a church in North Charleston has been found guilty on all six charges against him.
Jacop Hazlett is now sentenced to 75 years in prison for those charges.
The NewSpring church released this statement:
“We are grateful justice was served today in this criminal case against Hazlett and are hopeful the verdict will help victims and families in the healing process.”
Hazlett is facing six charges in connection to incidents that happened on November 25, 2018, at NewSpring Church in North Charleston. He is accused of sexually abusing several boys who were 3-4-years-old at the time.
When the judge first walked into the courtroom this morning, she told the court that a juror, juror #9, sent her a note asking three questions. We don’t have a copy of the note, but the defense attorney read a portion of it.
He said the third question roughly asked, “In the event one party issues no case, can the judge issue a directed verdict?” Hazlett’s attorney said, “it looks as though he has prejudged the case.”
Hazlett chose not to testify, and his defense attorney did not present any evidence or witnesses in the case.
The defense attorney then asked the judge to release juror #9 and replace him with one of the alternates.
The prosecution did not object, so the judge brought the juror into the courtroom where he was released and replaced with juror 118.
After closing arguments, the judge spent an hour going over her charge to the jury. They were then released to begin deliberations around noon.
The jury then asked a few questions about re-watching video from the case.
The prosecutor said it could take a while for the jury to watch the video evidence.
Hazlett’s attorney requested a mistrial, but the judge denied the request.