Convicted killer and gang leader Jeroid J. Price – whose extralegal, unconstitutional release from the custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) in March sparked a nationwide manhunt – is back in the custody of law enforcement.
News of Price’s apprehension was first reported by John Monk of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper. Also, family members of Price’s 2002 victim confirmed his apprehension to reporter Mayra Parrilla-Guerrero of WIS TV 10 (NBC – Columbia, S.C.).
According to Monk, Price was apprehended by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in New York City. Officers of the New York Police Department (NYPD) assisted in his recapture. The tip which led to his arrest “came into South Carolina law enforcement authorities,” according to a news release announcing Price’s capture.
That tip – a phone call – specifically came to an emergency action line manned by SCDC.
Details regarding Price’s apprehension – and the names of anyone who may have aided and abetted him during his time as a fugitive from justice – were not immediately disclosed.
According to SCDC director Bryan Stirling, Price must appear before a federal magistrate in New York on an unlawful flight charge prior to being extradited back to South Carolina. Once he is returned to the Palmetto State, he will be processed at Kirkland Correctional Institution – an SCDC intake center located just north of Columbia, S.C.
Stirling said he would “take precautions” with Price – putting him in a “very secure location at Kirkland” and noting his “movement would be very restricted.” Stirling reminded reporters Price did not escape SCDC custody, but “absconded” after his unlawful release was overturned.
Law enforcement leaders celebrated Price’s capture.
“The arrest of Jeriod Price demonstrates the strength of law enforcement partnerships nationwide,” chief Mark Keel of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said. ” This is yet another example that when law enforcement and the community work together, fugitives cannot and will not escape justice. I continue to encourage the public to come forward with tips in cases like this one to bring justice to victims of violent crime in South Carolina.”
To recap: Price was convicted in 2003 of murdering University of North Carolina football player Carl Smalls after a gang-related dispute at Club Voodoo in Columbia, S.C. on December 7, 2002. He was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison – and was supposed to serve every single day of that term per the Palmetto State’s mandatory minimums sentencing law, § 16-3-20 (A).
Apparently, South Carolina’s mandatory minimums aren’t quite as “mandatory” as they were cracked up to be.
Price was illegally and unconstitutionally released from SCDC custody on March 15, 2023 via a sealed order from retiring S.C. circuit court judge Casey Manning. Manning’s illegitimate order – granted at the request of powerful lawyer-legislator Todd Rutherford – was first exposed by this news outlet on April 17, 2023. In the intervening days, this story took the Palmetto State by storm – reviving calls for reform of South Carolina’s badly broken judicial system.
Price was not housed in a SCDC facility at the time of his release, incidentally. According to SCDC spokeswoman Christi Shain, he was released from a facility in New Mexico where he was being housed as part of an “interstate cooperation compact.”
Price had been housed in New Mexico since November 2020, according to his SCDC rap sheet (.pdf).
Price is a leader in the Bloods gang – having been described as the “Godfather of the G Shine Bloods” within the state correctional system. At the time of the Club Voodoo shooting, Price was referred to as a “superior” in the criminal organization – leading a chapter referred to as the “GKB,” or “Gangster Killer Bloods.”
In addition to illegally and unconstitutionally springing Price from prison, South Carolina’s judicial system proved to be of absolutely zero help to prosecutors and politicians as they worked overtime to try and get him back behind bars. In late April, the S.C. supreme court voided Manning’s order by a narrower-than-expected 3-2 margin – but not before missing an opportunity to apprehend the dangerous gang leader.
(Click to view)
Days before the hearing, S.C. chief justice Donald Beatty was expressly warned by S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson that Price was a flight risk. Incredibly, Beatty declined to have him taken into custody – even though law enforcement knew his whereabouts at that time.
“Jeriod Price is no longer a wanted man,” Wilson said in a statement following his re-apprehension. “No matter how hard you try, no matter your position or connections, you can’t outrun the law. Locating and apprehending Price would not have been possible without our dedicated federal and state law enforcement partners. Price never should have been released, and I hope the victim’s family can rest a little easier tonight knowing he’s back behind bars. Let this be a message to everyone: if you break the law, we’ve got an army coming for you.”
Price isn’t the only member of his family mixed up in gang activity. His son – 23-year-old Jewayne M. Price – is also a gang leader. The younger Price was charged last year in connection with a gang-related shooting at Columbiana Mall in northwest Columbia, S.C. that left nine people wounded. He is currently incarcerated at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Richland County, S.C.
While it is welcome news to know Price is back behind bars, the circumstances surrounding his release still cry out for accountability. Months ago, I called for a criminal investigation into Manning – who has a history of aiding and abetting judicial corruption in South Carolina. As of this writing there is no word on whether prosecutors are moving forward on that front … but they need to.
(Click to view)
“This situation is 100 percent the fault of South Carolina’s judiciary,” I noted back in May. “There is absolutely no scenario under which Price should have been let out even a day early … let alone more than fifteen years early.“
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.
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).
In addition to violating his mandatory minimum sentence, 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.
THE RELEASE …
(Via: SCDC/ SLED/ RCSD/ FBI)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
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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