On Tre Manigault's 21st birthday, his mother and his sister bought balloons and several stems of red roses and left them at his grave.
Manigault never made it to Feb. 20. He was shot in August outside a nightclub in his hometown of Wando.
Janet Jenkins, his mother, and April Manigault, his sister, said they have spent the past six months watching his accused killer move on with his life.
They call it painful and disappointing.
"He's just living his life, while mine's gone," Jenkins said.
Sha'Quille Washington, 18, of Huger, was charged with murder, but in September a circuit judge in Berkeley County set his bail at $75,000 and Washington was released from custody.
Circuit Judge Markley Dennis ordered that he be on strict house arrest. He is only allowed to leave his home for medical or religious visits and appointments with his attorney only between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., according to the order.
He is also ordered to avoid all direct or indirect contact with Manigault's family.
For Jenkins and April Manigault, who expected Washington to remain behind bars until his day in court, it was a disappointing blow and they were outraged over the amount of bail set.
Dennis could not be reached for comment.
Beverly Byrd, a friend of the family who is a bail bonds woman, called the bail amount unusual.
"I was like 'Are you serious?' " Byrd said. "I've got armed robbery cases where the bond is $200,000."
Several factors are taken into consideration by judges when setting bail, including the level of risk of the defendant running off as well as their potential danger to the community.
Judges have the power to deny bail on murder cases, but it's up to their own discretion based on the factors they can consider.
Manigault's family said they are heartbroken with the judicial system.
"I feel so betrayed," said April Manigault. "(Washington) has a carefree life, and it's not fair."
Laura Hudson, the executive director of the S.C. Crime Victims' Council, a state nonprofit organization that advocates for crime victims' rights, said $75,000 bail for a murder suspect seems low, and Manigault's family is perfectly justified in being upset.
"Home detention is inappropriate for a person charged with murder, in my opinion," Hudson said.
Bail reformation is currently under the microscope in South Carolina.
A S.C. Senate bill currently under consideration has called for a study into bail reformation in the state, according to Hudson, who served on a committee studying the issue for the city of Columbia.
The bill would expand the elements a judge may consider when setting bail for violent offenders.
The proposed law also would create enhanced penalties for defendants who commit another crime while free on bail, according to Hudson.
Ninth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Bryan Alfaro, who is prosecuting Washington's case in Berkeley County, said his office had not been made aware of any alleged bond violations.
Manigault's family said they still don't have a clear picture of how the killing occurred.
April Manigault said she was awoken by her mother on Aug. 25 and she rushed to the hospital, where doctors told her that her brother had died.
According to an incident report, Manigault had been involved in an argument while at the club A Place in the Woods on Hamlin Corner Road.
Manigault was found shot in the parking lot of the club around 3:30 a.m., according to authorities.
Witnesses identified the shooter as Washington, an affidavit stated.
Detectives and prosecutors have not revealed the details behind what may have fueled the argument. Steve Davis, Washington's attorney, could not be reached for comment.
The case remains pending and a trial date has not been scheduled.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
Sha’Quille Mileak Jamal Washington, 17, of Huger is charged with murder. He’s accused of a fatal shooting outside a nightclub in Wando in August 2013. (Photo credit:Hill-Finklea Detention Center)×
Notice about comments: