Mom mourns for ‘best friend’

Quintin McGrew, 28, appears on a video monitor Wednesday during his bond hearing before Dorchester County Magistrate Katrina Patton, who released him on a personal recognizance bond of $50,000. The father’s infant son was mauled to death by a dog last month.

Chantel and Quintin McGrew are loving and attentive parents, according to their attorney, but Andy Savage said he can’t explain why the father remained asleep while a family dog tore apart the couple’s 2-month-old son.

Quintin McGrew, 28, of Sandpit Drive near Ridgeville, was charged Wednesday by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office with unlawful conduct toward a child. On April 20, McGrew was sleeping in a bedroom with another child and another of the family’s dogs, and Aiden Levi McGrew was sleeping in a swing in the family’s living room.

A newly adopted family dog, Lucky, apparently dragged the baby from the swing and killed him.

At a hearing Wednesday, Dorchester County Magistrate Katrina Patton ruled that McGrew is not a flight risk or a threat to the community, and allowed him to be freed from jail on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond.

Savage told Patton that the McGrews intend to remain together after the legal case against Quintin is resolved.

The McGrews’ two other children, ages 8 and 21/2, were taken into custody by the S.C. Department of Social Services after the tragedy.

Chantel McGrew said she and her husband have been allowed to see the children only once since Aiden was killed.

Lucky recently was euthanized by state officials. The couple’s other dog has been returned to them, Savage said.

Savage said the family is devastated by the loss of their baby, and Chantel and Quintin are victims of the tragedy even though Quintin faces charges, Savage said.

“They really have not had time to process it and grieve,” Savage said.

“It has been a very tough time,” Chantel said outside the courtroom.

“That was my baby, that was my best friend. I have to go home and go to his bedroom and he’s not there, and that is very, very upsetting. The baby would wake for his 2 a.m. feeding, and he’s not there. All you can do is go to his gravesite,” she said.

Quintin McGrew turned himself in Wednesday after learning that a warrant had been issued. The warrant maintained that McGrew put his child at unreasonable risk by leaving him in the living room by himself while he slept in the bedroom.

The infant was left with a dog that was new to the house, the warrant said.

That morning, Chantel McGrew had taken the couple’s oldest child to a doctor’s appointment. Savage said Chantel phoned home while away, but Quintin did not answer.

Savage said the McGrews have cooperated completely with investigators, and Quintin was “absolutely clean” concerning any use of alcohol or drugs.

Savage suggested that the baby possibly landed on his head when pulled from the swing, and for that reason did not cry out when bitten.

“I don’t know the answer, but we’re going to find out,” he added.

Quintin said when asked by Patton that he owns a computer- repair service.

In portraying the couple as excellent parents, Savage said Aiden was born with a birth defect that required surgery when he was one week old. Savage said the McGrews made frequent visits to the hospital.

“They take good care of their children.” Savage said. He said they made sure the child got “to every scheduled wellness visit since his birth.”

Sheriff’s Detective Dwayne Peters said that neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the 1st Circuit Solicitor’s Office consider McGrew to be a flight risk or a danger to the community.

McGrew won’t have to post any money to be free, but should he fail to appear for any court hearing or trial, he would have to put up the money, Patton said.

Savage assured Patton that his client will be in court when required.

Reach Edward C. Fennell at 937-5560. Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.