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Crime & Courts

South Carolina Supreme Court Voids Illegal Release Of Convicted Killer

Jeroid Price headed back behind bars …

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South Carolina’s supreme court ordered the arrest of Jeroid J. Price – the convicted killer and gang leader whose illegitimate, illegal, and unconstitutional release from state custody last month sparked a firestorm of controversy.

By a 3-2 margin, the court voided a secretive ruling issued by retiring circuit court judge Casey Manning releasing Price from the custody of the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) on March 15, 2023 with more than fifteen years remaining on his murder sentence.

Price must now complete that sentence.

“Law enforcement authorities are directed to immediately take custody of the defendant and return him to the Department of Corrections to serve the remainder of his sentence,” the court’s order noted.

Law enforcement reportedly had eyes on Price as recently as yesterday in the Midlands region of the state. However his whereabouts at the time of the court’s order were less certain.

Manning’s order releasing Price – which was originally sealed from public view – expressly violated South Carolina’s mandatory minimums on murder convictions, as contained in § 16-3-20 (A) of the state’s code of laws. More egregiously, it violated the victims’ bill of rights provision of the S.C. Constitution (Article I, Section 24). That provision affords victims 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.”

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News of Price’s release was first reported by this news outlet last Monday. Over the intervening days, the story has dominated headlines across the Palmetto State as prosecutors and politicians scrambled to determine how Price got out of jail … and more importantly, how to get him back behind bars.

Last week, S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson filed a “writ of prohibition” (.pdf) asking the supreme court to “arrest Jeroid J. Price (and) return him to the custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections immediately.”

“While we are still unsure about several circumstances surrounding his release, we are certain Judge Manning’s order is void,” Wilson said in a statement accompanying the writ.

The court agreed … albeit by a narrower-than-expected margin.

(Click to View)

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The ruling to void Manning’s order and send Price back to prison was signed by justices John Kittredge, John Few, and Garrison Hill. Chief justice Donald Beatty and George “Buck” James dissented.

To recap: Former S.C. circuit court judge Reggie Lloyd sentenced Price to thirty-five years in jail for murdering University of North Carolina football player Carl Smalls in the early morning hours of December 7, 2002 following a gang-related dispute at Club Voodoo in Columbia, S.C. That sentence was to be served “day-for-day” consistent with South Carolina’s mandatory minimums on murder convictions, which are contained in S.C. Code of Laws § 16-3-20 (A).

Price is a leader in the Bloods gang. In fact, he has been described as the “Godfather of the G Shine Bloods” within SCDC. At the time of the Club Voodoo shooting, Price was referred to as a “superior” in the Bloods gang – leading a chapter referred to as the “GKB,” or “Gangster Killer Bloods.” Price’s son – 23-year-old Jewayne M. Price – is also a gang leader. He was charged last year in connection with a gang-related shooting at Columbiana Mall in northwest Columbia, S.C. and is currently incarcerated at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Richland County, S.C.

S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe – the prosecutor who put Jeroid Price in prison – said he spoke with Smalls’ family in the aftermath of the court’s order.

“I called the Smalls family immediately after speaking with the attorney general,” Pascoe told me. “They are ecstatic.”

(Click to View)

Solicitor David Pascoe
S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe (Provided)

“It is really unprecedented for the court to act this quickly,” Pascoe added.

The deal to free Price was struck between Manning and S.C. minority leader Todd Rutherford – a powerful lawyer-legislator and one of the members of the influential S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission (SCJMSC) that handpicks which judges get to stand for legislative election. S.C. fifth circuit solicitor Byron Gipson was also in on the negotiations, but he claimed Manning issued the order freeing Price before he could submit a formal motion on the request.

As I previously reported, law enforcement and prosecutorial leaders are said to be looking into other orders issued by Manning during his final days on the bench – and potentially similar orders issued by other judges at the behest of powerful lawyer-legislators in the S.C. General Assembly.

“You’re just scratching the surface,” a source familiar with the situation told us last week.

According to justice James, though, any discussion of whether Rutherford improperly pressured Manning was “wholly irrelevant.”

That comment prompted a rebuke from Pascoe.

“I respectfully disagree with justice James assertion,” Pascoe told me. “The very fact he felt compelled to make that assertion highlights how difficult it is for the public to have confidence in our justice system after a lawyer-legislator gets an unusual accommodation and special treatment like Todd Rutherford got for his client.”

Last Wednesday, I called for a criminal investigation into Manning – who has a history of aiding and abetting judicial corruption in South Carolina. That call has been echoed by Smalls’ family. I have also called on state lawmakers – a handful of whom have filed judicial selection reform bills – to enact a long-overdue substantive overhaul of the way judges are chose in the Palmetto State.

As this news outlet has consistently argued, the current system has enabled institutional corruption, shredded the rights of victims, empowered violent criminals and materially eroded public safety.

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THE ORDER ….

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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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11 comments

Avatar photo
The Colonel Top fan April 26, 2023 at 4:37 pm

How on earth did Beatty get to be Chief Justice?!? His questions and his dissent show him to either be clueless or a shill for Rutherford/Price/Manning.

Reply
Lynne Groves Top fan April 26, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Since my Jimmy Harold Causey is been in the news so much. Maybe you need to interview him about this bull shit. Y’all are comparing son against that murderer. You need to know the facts before writing this stuff. Why doesn’t he get a new trial since his first one was so corrupt. Go interview him & get his story. This is from his mother Lynne G Groves.

Thanks

Reply
stephen henry Top fan April 26, 2023 at 5:03 pm

WTF were the reasons given by the two dissenting _______ (Insert noun that got Tucker Carlson fired

Reply
Frederick Barton Top fan April 26, 2023 at 8:18 pm

Cunt?

Reply
Frederick Barton Top fan April 26, 2023 at 5:26 pm

Manning took an envelope or was some how extorted to do this.

Reply
stephen henry Top fan April 26, 2023 at 8:10 pm

After watching the complete hearing, I find the questions asked by and the
attitude of the Chief Justice to be a total travesty. I would hate to have him and the other dissenting judge involved in any legal procedure involving me or any of my family members or friends, especially if the legal issues involved were complex.

Reply
Tim April 27, 2023 at 8:05 pm

Ding ding ding. An educated guess would likely conclude, nearly all parties involved have been patting each other on the back for a long time.

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Rutherford is in trouble now April 26, 2023 at 9:28 pm

Supposedly the Feds (Public Integrity Section) are poking around in Columbia. That would be bad for all involved.

Reply
Truth Has Arrived April 26, 2023 at 11:30 pm

At common law, judicial immunity does prevent judges from being charged with crimes committed while acting as a judge

Reply
Jeffrey Borthick Top fan April 27, 2023 at 6:14 am

Does anyone know where Price is??

Am I the only person who sees that as a priority??

Reply
Jordan Smith April 28, 2023 at 6:39 am

Jeffrey he was being ‘monitored closely’ as news outlets were told. Then SLED issued a call for him to surrender himself, which doesn’t mean they don’t know where he is but if he is in the jurisdiction of the United States or any country the United States has an extradition treaty with you’d think they would have him in custody.

Yes, you are the only one who sees that as a priority. The South Carolina politicians who weren’t paying attention are too busy patting themselves on the back for getting a piece of paper.

Reply

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