Griffins Expelled, Charged in Classroom Beating

WINNSBORO (March 18, 2016) – A pair of Fairfield Central High School football players were arrested last week and charged with second-degree assault and battery after a classroom fight on campus.

Randanion “Chad” Sampson, of Cemetery Street, Winnsboro, and Zchivago M. Herndon, of Marsh Lane, Winnsboro – both 17-year-old juniors at Fairfield Central – were arrested March 7 after the two of them allegedly delivered a savage beating to another 17-year-old fellow student in a classroom at the end of the school day. The victim, William Zachary Bilal, was also charged in the incident with disorderly conduct.

According to the incident report from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Herndon and Bilal were involved in an argument over a necklace being worn by Herndon that Bilal claimed belonged to him. Herndon refused to relinquish the necklace, and when the final bell rang and the classroom emptied, he walked out of the room. Bilal followed, the report states, still asking for the necklace. When Herndon refused to hand it over, Bilal reportedly went back into the classroom, picked up a chair and attempted to strike Herndon with it.

Herndon and Sampson, who was until then a bystander in the incident, together beat Bilal, the report states. Bilal was later treated by EMS at the scene and transported by ambulance to a Richland County hospital, according to the report.

Initially, all three men were charged only with disorderly conduct. However, according to Fairfield County Sheriff Will Montgomery, the charges for Herndon and Sampson were upgraded on March 9 after a review of surveillance camera footage, as well as in consideration of the injuries to Bilal.

Dr. J.R. Green, Superintendent of Fairfield County Schools, said Bilal was released from the hospital on the day of the incident, and Athletic Director Terrell Roach said that both Herndon and Sampson had been expelled pending a hearing by the Board of Trustees.

“It has been dealt with appropriately,” Green said. “Football is the last of their concerns. It’s very unfortunate. Sometimes you make a bad decision and there are consequences.”

Green said one of three outcomes were possible from the hearing. The expulsion could be overturned by the Board and the students could return to school; the students could be sent to the District’s alternative school for the remainder of the year; or the expulsion could be upheld for the remainder of the school year.

Whatever the outcome, Roach said the chances for Herndon and Sampson playing out their senior seasons next fall were slim.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Demetrius Davis, head football coach, said. “I care about them more as young men than as football players. I hope they learn from this and become better people from it.”

Herndon was a defensive back, wide receiver and kick returner for the Griffins last season. Sampson was a defensive back and running back.