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Crime & Courts

Criminal Investigation Necessary After Murderer’s Early Release

South Carolina police, prosecutors should go after judge Casey Manning …

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On Monday, this news outlet exclusively reported on the latest travesty of justice to befall the state of South Carolina’s notoriously corrupt “Injustice” system. I am referring to the prima facie illegal, unconstitutional release of convicted murderer Jeroid J. Price from a New Mexico prison last month.

Price, 43, hails from New York. He was a street leader in the Bloods gang who was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison for the 2002 murder of University of North Carolina football player Carl Smalls, who was affiliated with the rival Crips gang.

Price shot and killed Smalls in the early morning hours of December 7, 2002 following a dispute at a fraternity party at Club Voodoo in Columbia, S.C. A Richland County jury took only thirty minutes to convict him.

Incidentally, Price’s son – 23-year-old Jewayne M. Price – was charged last year in connection with a gang-related shooting at Columbiana Mall in northwest Columbia, S.C.

Jeroid Price’s 35-year sentence was handed down by former S.C. circuit court judge Reggie Lloyd. It was affirmed by the S.C. supreme court in 2006, meaning Price was supposed to remain behind bars until 2038 – consistent with South Carolina’s mandatory minimums on murder convictions.

According to S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) spokeswoman Christi Shain, Price was being held in New Mexico as part of an “interstate cooperation compact.” He was previously held in numerous SCDC facilities – as well as a New York prison as part of another “interstate cooperation compact.”

You can view his frequently stamped prison passport by clicking here (.pdf) ..

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What prompted Price’s release? We don’t know … the order granting him his freedom signed by retiring S.C. circuit court judge Casey Manning remains sealed.

What we do know is there is absolutely no scenario under which Price should have been let out even a day early … let alone more than fifteen years early.

Under S.C. Code of Laws § 16-3-20 (A), “no person sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years to life pursuant to this section is eligible for parole or any early release program, nor is the person eligible to receive any work credits, education credits, good conduct credits, or any other credits that would reduce the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years to life required by this section.”

In other words, Lloyd’s “day-for-day” sentence of Price meant just that … he was required to serve every single day.

He didn’t … which means this law was broken.

It’s worse than that, though. As I noted in our exclusive report – and in this follow-up article – Price’s release also violated the victims’ bill of rights provision of the S.C. Constitution (Article I, Section 24).

According to that article, crime victims – notably Smalls’ family – had the right to “be informed of any proceeding when any post-conviction action is being considered, and be present at any post-conviction hearing involving a post-conviction release decision.”

Neither of those things happened … which means his release was unconstitutional.

Given judge Manning’s history of aiding and abetting judicial corruption, his role in this travesty did not surprise me in the least.

The only question: Will he be held accountable for his crime?

S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson has moved to unseal the order releasing Price to "assess potential statutory and constitutional violations related to this release.” I support him in that effort. In fact, he needs to go further.

I would call on the public corruption unit of the statewide grand jury - which works for Wilson - to immediately begin working with agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on a criminal investigation into Manning. At the very least, this judge has committed misconduct in office - in addition to his clear violations of the statutes and the constitution.

For South Carolinians to have any continued faith in their 'justice' system, this travesty cannot go unpunished.

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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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2 comments

Go For Todd April 19, 2023 at 1:01 pm

Hmm what about Todd Rutherford though?

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Anonymous April 20, 2023 at 8:10 pm

3

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