Young Says Farewell

Herman Young

Gov. Haley to Name Interim

Filing for Special Election Opens Aug. 8

WINNSBORO – An era in law enforcement that has straddled two centuries came to an end this week as Fairfield County Sheriff Herman Young announced his resignation from office. The announcement came Tuesday morning and puts the future of the Sheriff’s Office, temporarily at least, in the hands of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, who will appoint an interim Sheriff.

Young, 72, was in the middle of what he said was to be his final four-year term. Filing will open next month, with a primary and runoff, if necessary, to follow. A special election to fill out the remainder of Young’s term will be held after the Nov. 4 general election.

Young said he has been struggling with non-specific health-related issues in recent months, which influenced his decision to retire.

“I’m going to miss being there,” Young told The Voice Tuesday. “I had every intention of completing my term, but as things got worse I felt I should hang it up.”

Young was sworn in as Fairfield County’s first African-American Sheriff in 1992. Prior to that, he had served as Administrator for the Fairfield County Detention Center since 1973. Born and raised in Blair, he began his career in law enforcement in 1962 as a New York City Police Officer. Young returned to Fairfield County in 1965 and became the first black police officer with the Winnsboro Police Department. In 1972, he became the first African-American EMT with Fairfield Memorial Hospital.

Young had only been Sheriff a short time when his office made national news, reopening a 20-year-old case that had been originally filed away as a suicide.

In 1967, Frances Beasley told police that her bed-ridden husband, Ronald “Little Red” Beasley had taken a .22 caliber rifle, fired it once at her and then put the barrel of the gun in his mouth and shot himself to death. Although then Coroner Earl Bower ruled the death a suicide, neither Little Red’s family nor Young believed it. Little Red had suffered a stroke a few months before his death. He could neither walk nor feed himself and required around the clock care.

In 1992, Frances Beasley – by then Frances Beasley Truesdale – was convicted of murdering her second husband, Jerry Truesdale, in Virginia. Although Virginia State Police handed their files over to the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office in 1989, it wasn’t until Young took office that Little Red’s death was reopened. A Fairfield County grand jury indicted Frances Truesdale in January of 1996, and that November, while still serving her 20-year term for the murder of Jerry Truesdale, she was convicted for the murder of Little Red. Frances Beasley Truesdale died two weeks ago in a Virginia state penitentiary.

Young was recognized by his colleagues as Sheriff of the Year in 1996 and served as President of the S.C. Sheriff’s Association from 2011 to 2012. Young implemented the Summer Kids Camp and the Home Alone Program, a nationally recognized program that provides assistance to the elderly.

Gov. Haley’s office said the governor was “doing her due diligence” leading up to the announcement of a temporary successor, but added that an announcement would come quickly.

“Not only has Sheriff Young been an amazing public servant for 22 years but he is also a dear friend,” Haley said in a statement released Tuesday. “We are proud to celebrate his wonderful years of service. He is moving on from this post the same way he led the community of Fairfield County, with strength and grace. Michael and I, along with everyone in South Carolina, owe him a debt of gratitude.”

Young’s resignation was effective July 21. Filing for the election to fill the remainder of Young’s term will open Aug. 8 at noon and will close on Aug. 18 at noon. A primary will be held on Sept. 30 and any necessary runoff will be held on Oct. 14.

The special election for Sheriff will be held Nov. 18.