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5/22/2014 1:20:00 AM
Stumbo receives award for victim advocacy
Karen Lewis (left) stands with Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo (center) and victim advocate Mary Ann Stroup at the Victims’ Rights Conference in Columbia.
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Karen Lewis (left) stands with Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo (center) and victim advocate Mary Ann Stroup at the Victims’ Rights Conference in Columbia.

Brian King
Staff Writer

Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo was recently presented with an award during the annual Victims’ Rights conference held in Columbia.

The conference is hosted annually by the S.C. Victim Assistance Network and the State Office of Victim Assistance. Several awards are presented at the conference, which was held last week. Stumbo was presented with the Criminal Justice Award, which is given to a member of the criminal justice system who has exemplified true advocacy on behalf of crime victims.

“It’s very humbling to me,” Stumbo said of receiving the award. “It speaks to the fact that this office is doing great things right now fighting for victims of crime. That’s the number one priority of our office is making sure that victims of crime walk out of our office feeling like we have advocated for them regardless of the outcome of the case. Ultimately, it reflects the fact that we are getting state wide recognition for prosecuting criminals and advocating for victims. That is the most important thing we do.”

Karen Lewis is the daughter of Bill Ardis, the 65-year-old man shot and killed in his Waterloo home following an argument with a man living with him at the time. The man who killed Ardis, 46-year-old Phillip Heath Hollingsworth, was sentenced to 40 years in prison last month following a trial in Laurens County. Lewis said she could not have made it through her father’s killing and trial without the help of the staff at the Solicitor’s Office.

“The people at the Solicitor’s Office are a God-send,” Lewis said. “I am so thankful they were there and still there for my family and for their dedication to the victims of crimes and those whose lives have been torn apart by the evilness of this world.”

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