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Crime & Courts

South Carolina Attorney General Wants To Know Why Murderer Was Released Early

Alan Wilson moves to unseal judge’s controversial order releasing gang killer …

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Yesterday, this news outlet reported on a controversial – and prima facie unconstitutional – order issued by retiring South Carolina circuit court judge Casey Manning which prematurely released a convicted murderer who had more than fifteen years remaining on his sentence.

Jeroid J. Price of New York – a Bloods street leader – shot and killed 22-year-old Carl Smalls of Charleston on December 7, 2002. He was arrested several weeks later and convicted of murder by a Richland County jury in December 2003. His 35-year prison sentence – handed down by former S.C. circuit court judge Reggie Lloyd – meant Price was supposed to remain behind bars until early 2038, consistent with South Carolina’s mandatory minimum law for murder convictions.

Per the terms of a sealed motion, though, Manning released Price from a correctional facility in New Mexico where he was being housed as part of an “interstate cooperation compact” with the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC).

Manning’s decision to release Price was in violation of both the state’s mandatory minimum law – S.C. Code § 16-3-20 (A) – and the victims’ bill of rights provision of the S.C. Constitution (Article I, Section 24).

To read our coverage of this latest example of the Palmetto State’s ‘Injustice’ system, click here.

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S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson wants to know why the state turned Price loose early.

“This afternoon we officially filed a motion to unseal all records relating to the Jeroid Price case,” Wilson said in a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon. “Our office has already been in touch with the victim’s family and spoke with them yesterday.”

According to the motion, Wilson is asking the administrative judge for the court of general sessions in Richland County (which would be either Alison Lee or Robert Hood) to unseal “all sealed records” related to Price’s case.

Wilson’s order noted that Manning released Price “well before the 30-year minimum would have expired” on his sentence. His order also noted Smalls’ family members “were not notified of any hearing that would have affected the sentence in the murder case.”

The order was signed on behalf of Wilson by Heather Weiss, an assistant attorney general who previously served as interim solicitor for the fifth judicial circuit.

“The attorney general’s office is unable to assess potential statutory and constitutional violations related to this release without the ability to review all of the documents under seal,” the motion continued.

Several state lawmakers have also indicated a desire to see a criminal inquiry initiated into whether or not any laws were broken or constitutional provisions violated in connection with Price’s early release.

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THE MOTION …

(Via: S.C. Attorney General)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks on phone
Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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15 comments

HELEN L Poynter April 18, 2023 at 9:17 pm

I am a Victim, seeking justice, Truth. There are no Investigative Journalist in Indianapolis, Indiana . How can I connect with Will Folks, to broaden Fits TV great Advocacy for injustice..
Please call me.
Helen Poynter
6144047661

Reply
SubZeroIQ April 19, 2023 at 8:48 am

Before any judge in South Carolina entertains anything from Heather Weiss, that judge should investigate the 378 OBJECTIVELY-PROVEN instances of subornation of perjury, forgery, and fabrication against Dr. Marie Faltas in a jury trial in Richland county on 22-26 February 2010 under the presidency of Judge Clifton Newman. Of these pre-known FALSE harassment charges, Dr. Marie Faltas eventually, thank God, FULLY exonerated herself WITHOUT A LAWYER. Specifically, Heather Weiss fabricated charges that Dr. Marie Faltas “harassed” one Teresa-Felicia Ingram-Jackson, who was then married to CONVICTED drug dealer Bryan Aldwin Jackson AND hosting another CONVICTED drug dealer Corey/Cory Lamont Curry. Heather Weiss had been THE solicitor who convicted Curry of PWID-crack cocaine; yet Weiss LIED about Curry’s criminal record and pretended it was only “simple possession of marijuana.” This is but ONE example of the 378 instances. The documentation of all 378 instances has been before Judge Clifton Newman, Judge Alison Lee, and Judge D. Craig Brown FOR YEARS as well as before the South Carolina Court of Appeals and the South Carolina Supreme Court. No one is holding Heather Weiss accountable, most likely because her father, Stephen Savitz, of the Savitz-Bettis law firm, employs Hayne R. Hodges, III son of Senior Court of Claims Judge Hayne R. Hodges, Jr. and husband of federal Magistrate Judge Shiva Vafai Hodges, who refuses to recuse herself from Dr. Marie Faltas’ federal cases (even one naming Heather Weiss as a defendant) despite the clear conflict of interest. THAT is the real corruption in the system; and no one dares speak about it. Of course, FITS will not post this because this attack on Judge Manning is in retaliation for Judge Manning sanctioning Eric Bland, who sponsors FITSNews. Who pays the piper calls the tune.

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CongareeCatfish Top fan April 19, 2023 at 9:56 am

I’m not going to stand by and watch you impugn the integrity of one of our state best trial court judges to sit on the bench in the last 50 years by claiming he has suborned perjury and forgery. For the uninitiated, Dr. Faltas is the worst kind of legal gadflies imaginable. I think the State Supreme Court summed it up best in Assa’d-Faltas v. Richland County Sheriff’s Dept, 420 S.C. 28 (2015) “For many years, Appellant [Faltas] has engaged in a pattern of frivolous filings and inappropriate conduct towards the courts, court officers, and court employees of this State. Appellant’s abuse of the justice system has even reached the United States Supreme Court. See 32 Assa’ad-Faltas v. Richland Cnty. Sheriff’s Dept., ––– U.S. ––––, 135 S.Ct. 1418, 191 L.Ed.2d 354 (2015) (noting Dr. Faltas has “repeatedly abused” the United States Supreme Court’s process).” “Over the last twenty years, Appellant has engaged in a pattern of vexatious and disruptive conduct aimed at courts throughout South Carolina and beyond. See, e.g., Assa’ad-Faltas v. Carter, No. 1:14CV678, 2014 WL 4566037, at 4–5, 9 (M.D.N.C. Sept. 15, 2014) (listing numerous judicial decisions which “show that [Appellant] repeatedly has abused the litigation process[,] both in state and federal courts” and finding the specific claims before that court to be “legally frivolous and malicious”). Since 1997, Appellant has been involved in fifty- two matters before this Court and twenty-one matters before the court of appeals, the vast majority of which Appellant has initiated and which have been found to be without merit or frivolous.”

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SubZeroIQ April 19, 2023 at 11:06 am

Heather Weiss, full name Sara Heather Savitz Weiss, if NOT a trial judge at all. In fact, she failed in her run for circuit judge TWICE. The first time, the secret ballot of lawyers reported that Weiss “may dismiss legal ethics to win her case.” That is IN THE TRANSCRIPT of Judicial Merit Selection of 28 November 2017 pages 80 to 118. Heather Weiss was NOT nominated. She applied for the next opening in 2018 but withdrew after the secret ballot report came back. Why doesn’t anyone look at the criminal and forfeiture records of Cory/Corey Lamont Curry, Teresa Ingram, Charlene Crouch, and Brian Aldwin Jackson, among the few KNOWN criminals about whose records Heather Weiss LIED to Judge Clifton Newman? Instead, everyone attacks Dr. Marie Faltas because she brings uncomfortable truths. And here is one of the most uncomfortable truths of all: Justice Kittredge abused his authority to get a rare post-humous pardon for his maternal granfather who had been convicted of price fixing. That is why Kittredge has a vendetta against Dr. Faltas. No one will call Kittredge the best judge ever to sit. Even his colleagues on the state supreme court do not like him. If he continues picking on foreigners just for his ego, South Carolina’s economy, which depends on attracting foreign investment, will suffer.

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SubZeroIQ April 20, 2023 at 7:47 pm

What do you want FITS? A system where prosecutors pick us off the streets and throw us in jails indefinitely without even knowing what are the specific charges against us? There is a Constitution in this country and a baby-constitution in this state. One has an Eighth Amendment and the other echoes it. People have the right to reasonable bail, to the presumption of innocence, and to speedy trials. Were it left to YOU, you would have us ruled by prosecutors like that guy who was texting a sitting juror in the middle of a trial and urging him/her to not consider the defendant’s evidence or humanity. Or like Heather Weiss? Where will you get all those prisons and jails you want us to live in from? Prison over-crowding is unsafe for the public more than it is unsafe for inmates. Have you no shame eaves-dropping on a conversation between a mother and her presumed-innocent son?

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SubZeroIQ April 21, 2023 at 10:11 am

FITSNews, you pick ONLY on Democrat lawyer-legislators and ignore Republican big fish.
For example, now-speaker Murrell Smith got Judge Russo unqualified for re-election because Russo reversed or reduced a multi-million jury award for a Mexican worker electrocuted on the job and represented by Murrell Smith. I heard about it FIRST from your reporting then checked the case.
IMO Russo was wrong to reduce the judgment but Murrell Smith’s FAIR recourse was to appeal the reduction in the judgment, not to fire the judge with whose order he disagreed.
BTW-1, Murrell Smith was the one who knee-jerk made South Carolina’s already bad harassment and stalking statutes worse. He did that after the death of Mary Lynn at the hands of her male friend’s son who fantasized HE was May Lynn. “Mary Lynn’s Law” replaced the presumption of innocence with a presumption of insanity of every one whose constitutionally-protected speech or conduct displeases someone else. Mary Lynn’s death could have been prevented by stronger locks on her doors, not by prior restraints on everyone else’s speech.
And BTW-2, Mary Lynn’s law is what Heather Weiss used against me to falsely arrest me because a crack-cocaine dealer, SO KNOWN TO HEATHER WEISS HERSELF, was predictably displeased by my photographing his illegal acts AROUND ME AND MY RESIDENCE. Heather Weiss then applied Mary Lynn’s law to keep me in jail until I had a mental examination; then, after I, thank God and WITHOUT A LAWYER, prevented a jury from wrongly convicting me on the harassment charges Heather Weiss fabricated, all with Judge Clifton Newman presiding, Heather Weiss went to another judge, suspected to be on-the-take, and asked him to declare ME too mentally incompetent to defend myself from Weiss’ CONTINUING false criminal charges without a lawyer. Weiss’ motion was too much even for THAT white male judge suspected to be on-the-take and he denied it.
I do not want prosecutor like Heather Weiss and like the juror-texting guy unchecked by judges whom YOU and your solicitor friends defame as “soft on crime” every time they check prosecutorial excesses.
IN SUM: Your diagnosis is correct; but your treatment is worse than the disease.

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SubZeroIQ April 21, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Happy now, FITS and Allan Wilson?
You put a mark on a man who saved TWO prison employees’ lives and almost-single-handedly led to the apprehension of an escaped dangerous convict. Worse yet, you have now discouraged ALL inmates from good behavior in jails and prisons by taking away their rewards.
If you have any decency, you should PUBLICLY post Judge Manning’s ORDER which you fought so hard to unseal and, in the process, ruined Judge Manning’s reputation after his long years of PIONEERING service, both on the basketball court and the circuit court.
South Carolina’s supreme court called your bluff.
Frankly, Judge Manning’s order, if it were to be faulted for anything, it is for being too late, not too early.
The next escaped convict who, God forbid, goes on a crime spree because no other inmate felt safe to report him, will be on YOU, FITS and Allen Wilson.
Happy now?

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SubZeroIQ April 22, 2023 at 3:18 am

Sloppy reporting and grand-standing destroy good people’s reputations.
First, no judge’s ruling needs to be approved by the chief judge. THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE.
A chief judge handles only administrative matters on a rotating basis; but no judge of the same court can overrule the judicial opinion or order another. Only a higher court may overrule a judge, and then only if a proper appeal is taken to that higher court.
L. Casey Manning was the first African American basketball player for the University of South Carolina and one of the first African American men elected to the state circuit court. He served for 30 years until mandatory retirement at age of 72. Many current judges and prominent lawyers were mentored by Judge Manning as his law clerks. And he cared enough to have a protrait of his long-time administrative assistant, Ada, made and hung in a courtroom upon her retiremet. Governor Henry McMaster awarded Judge Manning the Order of the Palmetto for his retirement celebration.
Suddenly, people want to disbar the judge, fire him, bring criminal charges against him, maybe even lynch him, because he did not want to leave that reformed criminal who saved at least two lives (and however many that other escaped convict could have taken) forgotten.
IT WAS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR THE ORDER TO BE SECRET.
Jeroid Price clearly had connections law enforcement did not have; and he was willing to use to save lives. His identity had to be protected like any confidential informant.

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SubZeroIQ April 22, 2023 at 6:45 pm

You, Emperor FITS, have no clothes.
First and foremost, Smalls was not, when shot, any more a UNC student than Stephen Smith was a medical student. ACCORDING TO THE VERY OPINION AFFIRMING PRICE’S CONVICTION, Smalls was a Crips member; and the Bloods and the Crips fought over the proceeds of a party in Club Voodoo when the gunshot which killed Smalls was fired. With condolences to the Smalls famly, it is not as if Price went to Smalls’ home and shot him.
Second, victims have the right to be heard, but NOT veto power over the result.
And like most rights, victims’ rights are not absolute. If a victim’s advocate, for example, behaves disruptively, that advocte may be taken out of the courtroom. In Price’s cases, calling Smalls’ family in would have triggered another round of Bloods-Crips fighting.
Third, your attack on Judge Manning proves that the present system is NOT the only problem. Judge Manning was leaving for mandatory age 72 retirement; so, he had NO reason to pander to Todd Rutherford or to any other lawyer-legislator because Judge Manning was not going to face another election. Even under “Emperor FITS’ magic solution,” a retiring judge could STILL do what (s)he wants and not worry about a retention election or even a recall election (which is NOT available in South Carolina’s constitution anyway). Similarly, former Justice Hearn, one of the biggest hypocrites to ever wear the robe, was retiring (also mandatorily at age 72) when she cast the tie-breaking vote to invalidate South Carolina’s heart-beat bill (which, for TRUE pro-lifers, is another hypocrisy because life begins at fertilization, not when a heart beat is heard).
So, absent a culture of REAL integrity, which Emperor FITS cannot pretend to have fostered with his lies about Nikki Haley having tried to rape Emperor FITS in the back of Nikki’s Cadillac, there is no magical solution that would make judges behave with integrity.
Let me see how Emperor FITS will react to these brilliant observations of mine before I continue with them.

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SubZeroIQ April 23, 2023 at 3:21 pm

FITS, I think I have the perfect solution for your intractable baldness-denial and your self-hatred of your melon-shaped head: wear a yarmulke; but do so with reverence to an ever-present God. That will cure both your outer and inner images. God bless.

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SubZeroIQ April 24, 2023 at 1:21 pm

I get it: Will Folks was angling to replace the departing Tucker Carlson at FOX News and found inciting a mob against the African-American Judge Manning a good audition for the other Murdock who is in Will Folks’ head. But wait: would FOX News want to pay another 787 million if it were to hire Will Folks and Judge Manning and/or Dr. Erin Presnell were to sue FOX News? In South Carolina, statements to the effect that one is incompetent in one’s profession and/or has a reputation for dishonesty and/or committed a crime are DEFAMATORY PER SE. And the U.S. Supreme Court might soon reconsider (and South Carolina’s supreme court is currently reconsidering) who is a public figure for defamation suit purposes. Perhaps FOX News is safer choosing ME to replace Tucker Carlson rather than Will Folks. At least I won’t use FOIAs to cowardly throw holders of the ORDER OF THE PALMETTO under the bus. Not that I am auditioning. Peace!

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SubZeroIQ April 27, 2023 at 12:32 pm

I get it again: A ploy to get Byron Gipson removed and have Heather Savitz Weiss OR John Meadors installed as interim 5th Circuit Solicitor. After all, Heather Weiss did get appointed interim 5th Circuit Solicitor after Dan Johnson (a Leon Lott trainee, let’s not forget that) was brought down. Heather immediately hired Knox McMahon as a deputy solicitor and HE failed to get a conviction in the only jury trial he conducted in that capacity. Heather also REPORTEDLY made racist remarks during her tenure and roiled most staff in that office. But Heather Weiss and John Meadors always wanted the 5th Circuit Solicitorship and could not get through the ballot box. If I were Todd Rutherford, and I am NOT a lawyer, I would run to federal court and seek habeas for Jeroid Price. There are published opinions, by no less than Dennis Wayne Shedd when he was on the 4th Circuit, to the effect that the government cannot get the benefit of a defendant’s cooperation yet reneg on the promised sentence reduction. It really is now a death sentence for Jeroid John Price and it MIGHT, God forbid, trigger new fighting between the Crips and the Bloods; and Leon Lott will be firing off letters wanting more money to “fight” that fighting. John Williamson Kittredge KNEW he would be sending Jeroid John Price to his death because Kittredge acknowledged that in oral argument. Kittredge then will use that in his upcoming “succession” fight for chief justice. On this, I’d rather be wrong than come back with “I told you so”; but time will tell.

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SubZeroIQ April 28, 2023 at 10:34 am

The three “justices” who claim to have vacated Judges’ Manning’s and Hood’s ORDERS had sworn an oath to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of South Carolina. BOTH constitutions have double jeopardy clauses which FORBID the retro-active increase in sentence. Judges Manning and Hood “right or wrong” reduced Jeroid Price’s sentence to the 16 years already served and ordered his release. No other judge, lower, coordinate, or higher, can CONSTITUTIONALLY order what is now a new increase in sentence. It is very sad that three of five justices chose to appease blog-fed hysteria at the price of violating the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. I hope that is taken to the U.S. Supreme Court because the principle is more important than the politics. And I hope Chief Justice Beatty and Justice James try to convince at least one of the their colleagues that public hysteria is fleeting but principles are permanent; but, failing that, I hope the dissenters write what would soon become law. I am a voice crying in the wilderness.

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SubZeroIQ May 2, 2023 at 8:25 am

True 1987 Arizona story with real names so you can fact-check it: Daniel Wayne Cook and John Eugene Matzke stole the money of their working-stiff roommate Carlos Cruz-Ramos then tortured and sodomized him and finally savagely killed him. When then-16-year-old dishwasher Kevin Swaney happened on Cruz-Ramos’ dead body, Cook and Matzke tortured, raped and killed Swaney, too. Both killers confessed. Matzke testified against Cook, got 20 years, and was ACTUALLY REALEASED in 2007. Cook was executed in 2012 after exhausting all appeals. Moral of the story? For any criminal prosecution system to work, informants and even co-defendant are given shorter sentences if they testify against their accomplices, however heinous the crime. C’est la vie.

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Velvetbunny Top fan May 4, 2023 at 12:40 am

You need to be medicated. Seriously, your frenetic diatribe seems maniacal. Reach out to someone before you waste any more energy; you will NEVER prevail here, look around!

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