SC

Five Points Shooting Suspect To Invoke SYG

Twenty-year-old shooting suspect Michael Juan Smith will claim he acted in self-defense when he fired the bullet that paralyzed an 18-year-old University of South Carolina student. Smith’s attorneys may even invoke the Palmetto State’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which has been sidestepped by the state’s highest court. Smith was arrested…

Twenty-year-old shooting suspect Michael Juan Smith will claim he acted in self-defense when he fired the bullet that paralyzed an 18-year-old University of South Carolina student.

Smith’s attorneys may even invoke the Palmetto State’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which has been sidestepped by the state’s highest court.

Smith was arrested last weekend after a stray bullet fired in the aftermath of a dispute lodged into the spine of 18-year-old Martha Childress – who was waiting for a taxi in the increasingly dangerous Five Points region of downtown Columbia, S.C.

Childress remains paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting.

A convicted felon, Smith was on parole at the time of the incident – part of a disturbing pattern of judicial lenience toward violent offenders in South Carolina (while cops and courts have turned arresting college kids for public drunkenness into a cottage industry). He stands accused of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a violent felony, unlawful carrying of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm.

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69 comments

Frank Pytel October 16, 2013 at 8:43 am

Convicted felon, case closed. No grounds for any defense with a gun. Though personally I would want to know what the felony is. If it was him at 17 and her at 15, XP.

Maybe he could claim he was drunk, tripped on a pebble and his hand landed on the firearm.

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hmmmmm – perhaps a pebble fell from the sky and bopped him on his head. Thinking that the pebble was a snot-wad from one of his buddies, he meant to remove it by shooting it off of his head, thus keeping his trigger finger dry.

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idcydm October 16, 2013 at 8:44 am

Mikey’s a good boy, his felony conviction was just a misunderstanding, that’s why he was out on parole. He really didn’t know the firearm was stolen when he bought it from a friend so that shouldn’t be part of this accusation, he’s innocent until proven guilty, AGAIN!!!

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Jay Ellington October 16, 2013 at 9:21 am

Give the kid a puppy and a hug and errthing be alright.

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Regular Sized Rudy October 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

that lil dumb motherfucker still shot a girl. fuck you you idiot.

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 10:27 am

hmmm – read the comment again, it’s meant to be SARCASTIC….

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? October 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

Yet another example of why we need sarcastic font.

I make do with smiley faces at the end of my statements, but sometimes it still doesn’t work.

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Soft Sigh from Hell October 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm

The heck with labeling humor. If you have to explain a joke it isn’t funny, as the saying goes.
.
Let those who are blind to sarcasm or whimsy or irony or hyperbole, and cannot withhold comment, simply look obtuse.
.
We rest can then don smug sneers. (Until it’s our turn.)

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 8:34 pm

You guys are sending me back to the dictionary – again!

idcydm October 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm

You really should not venture from World Star Hip Hop.

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Baruch October 16, 2013 at 8:54 am

I thought the 2nd Amendment meant something around here?

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Jesus H. Christ! October 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

The 2d Amendment is for WHITE people, silly.

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jimlewisowb October 16, 2013 at 8:55 am

At this time it is a toss up who is the biggest POS

Rutherford or the Punk

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 9:30 am

+10 — especially for Rutherford who seems to be brain dead….

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Wally October 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

Hold your water. The article speculates that Rutherford “may even invoke” a SYG defense.

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Smirks October 16, 2013 at 8:56 am

What a colossal asshole. I say give the 18-year-old’s parents a few minutes in private with Smith with various power tools.

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CorruptionInColumbia October 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

A few pairs of vice grip pliers could make for an interesting day, too!

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TP October 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

Obviously carrying a firearm as a felon is illegal regardless of a misunderstanding. He was illegally carrying a firearm which means he did not have a CWP. Stand Your Ground should not apply! He is still responsible for his actions and the bullet he fired even if he was carrying the gun legally which he was not. The way I see it

1. Felon in possession of a firearm
2. Carrying a concealed handgun without a permit
3. Reckless endangerment ( still responsible after discharging a firearm that injures someone)

Im sure there is more that can be applied to this story. GUILTY!

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Barry1234 October 16, 2013 at 9:07 am

It doesn’t apply – per the law itself.

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The Colonel October 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

South Carolina is not a full on “Stand Your Ground” state. Our law states that: “…A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked
in another place where he has a right to be, including, but not limited
to, his place of business, has no duty to retreat and has the right to
stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if
he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily
injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a
violent crime as defined in Section 16–1–6.
No way this thug will meet either of the two tests in question.

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UptheCreek October 16, 2013 at 9:03 am

If we assume that SYG grants a responsible gun owner the legal right to protect himself by use of lethal force against an aggressor, we must also insist that same protection does not apply when he harms an innocent bystander due to carelessness while exercising his rights. Fire discipline is a critical component of responsible gun ownership, and this guy and his attorney should be run out of the court.

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Barry1234 October 16, 2013 at 9:07 am

Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply. Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply – per statute- to convicted felons using or weapon.

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UptheCreek October 16, 2013 at 10:18 am

I totally agree with you in regards to this specific case, but unfortunately his attorney is trying to use this defense. In regards to SYG in general, however, simply invoking it as a defense does not absolve the shooter of his responsibility not to harm innocent bystanders in the act of defending himself.

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Barry1234 October 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

Don’t believe this story at all.

Stand your Ground wouldn’t apply at all in this case per SC law. SC law is clear- a convicted felon can’t use Stand Your Ground.

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

Otherwise, wouldn’t the aggressor and witnesses have to testify at trial? Someone tell this” Trayvon-punk-pretender” he’s stupid……

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Jay Ellington October 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

Dats weeetaaadid sir.

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nitrat October 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Looks like I will have to find that goupstate.com story.

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Arlen Cooper October 16, 2013 at 9:08 am

Ban black thugs from public streets after 6 pm. They are easily identified, … their britches will be around their knees.

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

—-and other thug/hood identification..

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

—-and other thug/hood identification..

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CL October 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

The statute reads:”A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in another place where he has a right to be, including, but not limited to, his place of business, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60. ” You only have to read the first 10 words to know why SYG would not apply to the shooter here.

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? October 16, 2013 at 10:45 am

It’s a good omen that that his attorney can’t read the law.

” If you can’t afford an attorney, we’ll provide you with the dumbest fucking lawyer on Earth.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcy3RNjunZ4

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Nobam2012 October 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Exactly. Convicted felon illegally carrying a gun. It’s a stall tactic that’s been used before. If the law doesn’t get him the people will. It’s obvious now that people have to take matters into their own hands. The police around here are a joke.

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If he's gonna lie? October 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Oh, he only obtained the gun from a legal gun carrier at the point when he became “fearful for his life” – in whatever B.S. situation he makes up.

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CL October 17, 2013 at 7:47 am

I believe he is alleged to have stolen the gun, but none of that matters. Felon in possession laws are strict liability crimes. The prosecutor only has to prove two things, that you have a felony conviction and that you had a gun. The reason is legally irrelevant, although defendants try to discuss motive to try to gain juror sympathy (and jury nullification). Fat chance of anyone sympathizing with this young man, though, if Ms. Childress testifies.

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Jay Ellington October 16, 2013 at 9:32 am

The crime situation in Columbia would be comical if innocent people weren’t being gunned down in our entertainment districts. Chief Santiago should be run out of town for his ineptness and tendency to blame Richland and Lexington county sheriff’s departments for not helping. Calling this crime senseless about as poignant as calling water wet. Aren’t all crimes senseless? And to credit his “well trained” force with the quick apprehension of this thug is ludicrous, the guy was running towards uniformed officers with a gun in his hand. What part of “well trained” involves getting lucky?

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 9:38 am

Columbia will get the honor of becoming the “Detroit of the South” for all of the things mentioned on this site.

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Jay Ellington October 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

The rogue RCSD goon at Buffalo Wildwings is top story on The Blaze today.

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 10:14 am

Derrick will claim “PTSD” and Santiago will give him a job (to reciprocate Lott’s hiring his ex-boss) and put him in charge of training.

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Jay Ellington October 16, 2013 at 11:47 am

And that kids is the Circle of Shitty Law Enforcement.

shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

It would be interesting to know the girl’s story, and what was said that freaked – out Derrick….

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Jay Ellington October 16, 2013 at 11:44 am

I’m sure it was something about being uglier than sin or having a small dick. Goddamn that guy is the definition of gooney goo goo.

venomachine October 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

Next excuse will be “a pebble in my shoe.”

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 9:58 am

You are close – perhaps a pebble fell from the sky and bopped him on his head. Thinking that the pebble was a snot-wad from one of his buddies, he meant to remove it by shooting it off of his head, thus keeping his trigger finger dry.

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shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 9:58 am

You are close – perhaps a pebble fell from the sky and bopped him on his head. Thinking that the pebble was a snot-wad from one of his buddies, he meant to remove it by shooting it off of his head, thus keeping his trigger finger dry.

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Jackie Chiles October 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

Columbia needs to adopt the NYC policing method for Five Points. Just put cops on every corner walking around during the evenings.

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Nonny October 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

Will they be doing this for free? Because if our state legislature isn’t willing to fund your plan, I’m pretty sure the police officers are not going to do it voluntarily.

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Jackie Chiles October 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

I’m pretty sure the businesses of 5 points will help shoulder some of the burden since its their businesses that are being hurt most by the crime. I’m also pretty sure the citizens of Columbia already pay taxes for police protection.

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? October 16, 2013 at 10:49 am

Good point, but they don’t have any control over how their tax money is spent. If they hired a private force they’d have way more control over enforcement…making sure their patrons aren’t hassled but still safe.

Cops sometimes have trouble walking that fine line.

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Original Good Old Boy October 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

Private police force would probably get sued over something ridiculous like false arrest or imprisonment, and not have the same type of general governmental immunity that the police have.

? October 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Maybe, but I still say it’s better than any hope for the future let alone what’s going on now.

Hell, the business owners could spend $225 @ legalzoom and get an LLC just to fund this patrol and give themselves legal separation.

Original Good Old Boy October 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

It’s going to be tricky to authorize a private security firm to patrol high-traffic public areas. If they are patrolling private areas, exposure can be controlled much easier. But no amount of legal zoom documents can waive liablity for those that do not sign waivers, and presumably none of the loiterers would sign such waivers. I’m not disagreeing that it’s a good idea in theory, but there would be practical reasons why it would be hard to implement unless someone were willing to accept the liability exposure.

? October 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm

” it would be hard to implement unless someone were willing to accept the liability exposure.”

and an entrepreneur is born.

:)

Jackie Chiles October 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

True. Cops tend to spend more time hassling drunk college kids than stopping thugs toting firearms.

Marshal Dillon October 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm

It’s because the damn constitution gets in the way of “stop & Frisk” or the judicious use of the old fashioned billy stick. Unfortunately, the old days of REALLY keeping order are gone.

? October 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

Yet another reason that the business owners in 5 points need to get together and collectively fund their own private patrols.

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Norma Scok October 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Ah yes..”proection money”. Perhaps the mafia can be used here.

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? October 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

At least they are the bosses of the protection in this case.

The the city of Columbia isn’t going to do shit for them and still gets their money anyway.

At least when you gave your 10% to the mafia and someone came around and screwed with your revenue stream you know the mafia was gonna handle that shit.

shifty henry October 16, 2013 at 10:24 am

Shifty deals with cockroaches and mice this way – he prevents them from getting into his house in the first place, and in the second place if any are found inside then they are trapped and eliminated.
My point is that these gangsters need to be dealt with on their own turf and being educated, in the most convincing way, that it is truly in their best interests to stop their crappy business. That is, assuming that the CPD has no conflict of interests in doing so, and I wonder about that.

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HD October 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

Release him on bond to the custody of the victim’s father. If he’s still alive by the time of his trial date something will have gone terribly wrong.

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loisdeboid October 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

Bullshit. Sounds like you just made this up to be inflammatory. His attorneys “may” invoke SYG? Says who, besides you, FITS?

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Rutherford is shit October 16, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Fuck you Todd Rutherford, you are a piece of worthless shit.

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itusedtoworkjustfine October 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Mr. Smith should have been swinging from a live oak for the last couple of days.

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scotty October 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Shopping area police are used in many nations. It would appear the quick route would be the same one recently used to get a confession. Federal gun possession by a felon, quick conviction and the local POS Judges, police chiefs and ass kissing politicians could all take a victory lap. Maybe the biggest POS crowd could have BBQ to buy the victim a wheel chair or pay Rutherford to get the criminal out on another PR Bond.

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nitrat October 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm

You should read more than the con-servative echo chamber stuff. While all the late unpleasantness was going on in that Florida court, some media outlets were writing stories about how SYG had turned out to be in Florida and elsewhere, above all, a get-out-of-jail-free card for thugs aka known criminals shooting people.
One case even happened last year in Spartanburg. I have linked to it before and am not going to do it again. In that case, the feds were able to step in and arrest the guy for felon in possession of a weapon.
Apparently, this kind of outcome was one of the unknown unknowns that should have been a no brainer, except to those people with no brain.
If that Midlands father got off on killing that bystander just within the past couple of weeks, there is no reason to think SYG would not apply in this case.

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Nobam2012 October 16, 2013 at 7:02 pm

It won’t fly. If he were not a convicted felon illegally carrying he might have a Gnats chance in Hell. Rutherfunk is obviously wanting to gain publicity. And unfortunately it’s working.

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holly golightly October 17, 2013 at 8:11 am

how can this guy afford rutherford?

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GreenvilleGirl October 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I will support any decision the Childress family makes in regard to urging officials to amend the charges to attempted murder and/or any other charges which are deemed fitting. If not for lame judges, this guy would have been in prison and would not have been able to hurt anyone except another inmate.

There are seemingly more charges which can be added to the slew of charges already in place. Discharges a firearm into a crowded group of people? He clearly showed intent to harm/kill someone. If he was white and the victim was black, you’d have black people rioting in the streets of Columbia demanding justice.

He has no remorse and no regret –other than he missed his targets– the 2 men he was allegedly arguing with. He is a beneficiary of a group of liberal judges who believe this thug will change his habits and become a good citizen.

How many arrests does it take for the judicial system to realize this guy should not have been let loose . . . .again?

I hope the family files suit against any officials who have completely ignored the fact that Columbia has a gang problem. Mayors, police officials, city council members, attorneys and judges who have ignored the obvious for years. For God’s sake, Columbia was profiled by the History Channel in their Gangland series — about gangs and violence. The stated, “Columbia has turned a blind eye to the problems which are infesting their city”. They had been researching the data since 2007.

Just like Greenville with its “recent” crime wave(again, not so recent), the city council, mayor and the Chamber of Commerce all neglected to address a real problem with gangs and crime, for fear it would hurt tourism. The chief of police and the merchants were the only officials were very vocal about the problem, as were Greenville citizens who said they wouldn’t go downtown at night. Finally, after a young couple was held at gunpoint and robbed, the city officials decided there was a problem, and it was time to get serious about gangs/thugs/crime.

It sickens me to know that the Chuck and Pam’s daughter had to be critically injured before Columbia officials woke up and decided, “We may need to take serious action”. I’ve known Chuck long enough to know he is like a bulldog — he just won’t let go until something is done. He will keep fighting for justice for his daughter, and indirectly, his fight will be joined by the voices of many of the other victims who lives were altered due to the violence in Five Points.

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CV October 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I went to jail last week because of .2 of marijuana, and yet the cops in Columbia can’t stop things like this and other violent crimes, the USC PD and columbia PD are the biggest jokes and most pathetic waste of tax-payer money ever.

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