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Crime & Courts

Convicted Murderer’s Illegal Release: Criminal Investigation Likely

Law enforcement, prosecutorial leaders discussing next steps …

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South Carolina law enforcement and prosecutorial leaders are discussing whether to initiate a criminal investigation into the illegitimate, illegal and unconstitutional release of convicted killer Jeroid J. Price by retiring circuit court judge Casey Manning.

And not only that … potentially other orders issued by Manning during his final days on the bench.

“You’re just scratching the surface,” a sources familiar with the situation told us earlier this week following our initial reporting on Manning’s decision to free the gang leader from the custody of the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) at the behest of powerful lawyer-legislator Todd Rutherford.

No official announcement of a criminal investigation has been made, but S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) chief Mark Keel and attorney general Alan Wilson have reportedly had several conversations about whether to launch a probe. Both men reportedly favor such an inquiry, we are told – likely using the statewide grand jury as their vehicle.

Price – a leader of the Bloods gang – shot and killed University of North Carolina football player Carl 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 jury took only half an hour to convict him of Smalls’ murder. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison by former S.C. circuit court judge Reggie Lloyd – a sentence upheld in 2006 by the state supreme court.

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At the time of the shooting, Price was referred to as a “superior” in the Bloods gang – leading a chapter referred to as the “GKB,” or “Gangster Killer Bloods.”

He was supposed to serve every day of his sentence per the Palmetto State’s mandatory minimums statute, S.C. Code of Laws § 16-3-20 (A) – meaning he would not have been eligible for release until 2038.

News of Price’s release from prison was first reported by this news outlet on Monday. Since then, the story has exploded across the state – reviving a debate over how to best reform the Palmetto State’s notoriously corrupt method of choosing judges.

While we await news on the criminal front, sources familiar with the situation have confirmed to this news outlet that at least one complaint related to the Price debacle has made its way to the S.C. supreme court’s office of disciplinary counsel (ODC).

Details of the complaint – including who filed it and any specific allegations contained therein – were not immediately available.  However, sources close to the court indicated it singled out both Manning and Rutherford.

We expect there to be numerous ODC complaints tied to this case.  We also expect numerous complaints to be submitted to the S.C. Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCCJC) – a panel which, ironically, featured Manning as one of its members prior to his recent retirement from the bench. In fact, Manning has been accused in the past of abusing his position on this influential panel to protect other corrupt judges.

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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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3 comments

Avatar photo
The Colonel Top fan April 23, 2023 at 2:40 pm

So, where is Price right now?

Reply
Lynne Groves Top fan April 25, 2023 at 11:18 am

I was notified about the article of Prices release & my son Jimmy Harold Causey was mentioned. My son was convicted in 2003 for breaking into Jack Swerlings house & holding his family hostage. My son was convicted without a fair trial where non of his witnesses were called. He was put in that courtroom & was found guilty. The lawyers, judge, & solicitor had already found my son guilty before he entered the courtroom. He deserves a new trial without corruption & his story needs to be told. These lawyers, the judge & solicitor were corrupt in this trial & I need someone to listen to him & me as his mother Lynne G Groves & hear his side of of the story. This corruption needs to stop. Jack Swerling is a corrupt as you can get. My son has sit in prison for 20 years. He has escaped twice because he knows he was not guilty of this crime. Please help him get justice. If you can talk to me or him that would be great. I heard you would listen.

Reply
I Bet April 25, 2023 at 4:56 pm

He was really a good boy, wasn’t he?

If they hadn’t wronfully jailed him, no doubt he would have found a cure for cancer.

Reply

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