Bail was set at $1 million for one of two men suspected of attempting to invade the home of a man who was shot by a Charleston County deputy responding to the residence.
Thomas Zachary Brown, 22, of Scott White Road appeared at a bond hearing via video conference from the Charleston County jail Friday afternoon. He faces charges of attempted first-degree burglary and attempted murder.
Brown spoke only when questioned by Magistrate Judge Linda Lombard, telling her that he works at a Food Lion grocery store in Ravenel and other particulars about his life.
Roughly 10 loved ones stood before the judge on his behalf. When offered an opportunity to speak, Brown’s great-uncle Charles Tyler spoke on behalf of the family when he said they only wanted to hear a dollar figure for his bail.
Lombard set bail at $500,000 for each charge before abruptly dismissing Brown and concluding the hearing.
Tyler, who also serves as vice president of the local branch of the National Action Network, later said that Brown’s mother had alleged that Brown was at home when the invasion occurred. He didn’t know what evidence investigators had against Brown, other than someone naming him as a suspect.
“We’re not saying he didn’t do it. We really don’t know one way or another,” Tyler said.
Brown’s arrest came as a “great surprise” to Tyler, he said.
“He seems to be a great young man,” Tyler said. “He’s a young man that works.”
Tyler said he looked to investigators to uncover the truth. If evidence suggests Brown did participate in the invasion then he would have to face the consequences, Tyler said.
“We just want to see that due process is done,” he said.
Brown’s mother and other relatives declined to comment.
A witness who knows both Brown and his co-defendant, Joshua Simmons, identified the men to investigators, according to arrests affidavits. A second witness picked both men out of a photo line-up, the documents stated.
Two men were seen attempting to force their way into Heyward’s home through a window, witnesses reported to police. One of the defendants then fired a gun into the home while Heyward was inside, according to the affidavits.
Brown and Simmons were last seen on bicycles headed toward a wooded area behind the home.
Heyward was wounded during the incident and transported to Medical University Hospital for treatment, the documents stated. While in an ambulance, Heyward told investigators that one of the suspects was named “Joshua,” according to the documents.
Deputies were still searching for Simmons as of Friday afternoon.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.