Judge throws out indictments in Greenwood Mall shooting case

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GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA)- The trial involving six people charged in connection to a shooting at a mall in Greenwood has come to a halt for now.

Last year, six young men were charged with attempted murder, using a weapon during a violent crime, and breach of peace, high and aggravated in nature, in connection to a shots fired inside the Greenwood Mall in July last year.

Wednesday, the judge in the case issued an order throwing out the 18 indictments. Jury selection began Monday.

The judge’s decision came down to an issue involving the grand jury.

“I think he made the right decision,” said Charles Grose, who filed the motion to quash the indictments. He represents Shyheim Freeman.

The other five men accused in the case each have their own attorney. All of the except the counsel for Isaiah Whatley signed on to the motion.

“It just felt like everybody was already dressed and ready for the game so to speak,” said Whatley’s attorney Stephen Geoly. “We were ready, prepared to go forward.”

The motion cites issues with the grand jury, which is a group of citizens who decides whether charges should be brought in a case.

“I had three problems with the indictments in this case,” Grose said.

He said the first was that he didn’t know that the grand jury knew enough about what their role was.

“The second had to do with the witness who testified in front of the grand jury,” Grose said.

He said a procedural rule was broken when the witness for the case wasn’t listed on the indictments. According to Grose, the state brought the same officer as a witness for all 100 of the cases brought before the grand jury that day. He said that officer didn’t have knowledge of the shooting investigation.

“That was a shortcut that they took and because they didn’t comply with the statute, the judge did the right thing,” Grose said.

Grose also said the grand jury didn’t have enough time to do their job.

“That’s less than one minute per indictment to hear the testimony, to discuss what the testimony was, and to be able to vote on each individual indictment,” he said.

The judge disagreed with their argument about time, but he did find that the wrong person testified and tossed all 18 charges.

Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo said his office plans to present new indictments on the same charges to the county grand jury next month and that they hope to bring the case for trial again in October.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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