No bail in nightclub shooting; prognosis poor for one victim

After a judge denied Lamont Coardes bail Monday for three charges of attempted murder, his family (pictured in the front row) became emotional and held each other for support. Coardes allegedly fired a gun in a nightclub Sunday, wounding three people. Melissa Boughton/Staff

UPDATE: The charge against Haleigh Nicole Cardoze was dropped at her preliminary hearing. Her attorneys say she was merely present at the wrong time.

The alleged Summerville nightclub shooter from Sunday was denied bail Monday afternoon until he can go before a circuit judge.

Lamont Robert Coardes, 24, faces three counts of attempted murder after the Summerville Police Department said he opened fire early Sunday on customers trying to escort him outside Crawdaddy's at 1525 Trolley Road.

Before he appeared via video Monday in front of Judge Tera Suzette Richardson in Summerville Municipal Court, his mother asked for leniency. She said her son didn't have a prior criminal record that she knew of and that he was a single father to his 2-year-old son, who she is taking care of while he is jailed.

A Summerville police officer asked that Coardes be denied bail because of the seriousness of the injuries involved. He said one of three men who were shot suffered a head wound and remains hospitalized. He added that the victim is on a ventilator and that his prognosis is not good.

The police identified the victim who suffered the gravest wound as 28-year-old Carlous Sanders of Ladson.

The two other people wounded in the gunfire were Elbert Aiken, 21, of Summerville, who was shot in a hand, and James Stephens, 26, of Dorchester, who suffered a bullet wound in a leg. Stephens declined medical attention for his wound, and Aiken was treated at a hospital and later released.

Investigators have said that the melee started before 2 a.m. when Coardes used a broken beer bottle to hit Daniel McQuagy, 30, in the head. The Summerville man was later treated at a hospital. Coardes faces a charge of second-degree assault in connection with the first attack.

A bartender dialed 911 at 1:47 a.m., reporting that blood from McQuagy's head was on the floor. As the woman spoke with a dispatcher, noise from a crowd in the background grew.

“And apparently, there's guns out there,” the bartender added during the call, a copy of which was released Monday by the police. “Customers are running back inside, telling me there's guns outside. ... We need someone immediately.”

No gunshots were apparent in the recording, but the caller's pleas for help became more urgent as she spoke.

“They're freaking out,” she said. “This is an emergency.”

The woman soon complained to someone else at the bar that “the police are no ... help” before the call ended.

The second 911 call came a minute after the first from a resident of a nearby neighborhood. The man told a dispatcher that he was sitting on his porch when he heard gunfire.

“I just heard two gunshots,” the caller said, “and a lot of people screaming.”

Coardes had started shooting, the police said, as customers ushered him from the club.

His mother said at the bond hearing that she didn't know what happened. She and other family members cried and held each other after Coardes was denied bond.

He was seen leaving with two women, whom the police later identified as Haleigh Nicole Cardoze, 21, of Summerville and Jodie Lane Harrell, 25, of Alabama. Both women face three counts of accessory after the fact of attempted murder. Bail for both was set at $30,000.

Cardoze's father was teary-eyed as he watched her on screen in a striped jail uniform. He told the judge that Cardoze was just “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and said she was assaulted. He asked for reasonable bail.

Charleston attorney Tim Kulp represented Harrell at the bond hearing and also asked for reasonable bail. He said she moved from Orlando, Fla., a little over a year ago to the Charleston area to be with her boyfriend and did not have an arrest or conviction record.

He added that Harrell lives in West Ashley and has been cooperative with law enforcement. Her parents were also at the hearing. Kulp said they drove from Alabama to be there.

They were also emotional after Harrell asked if she could go to Alabama this month for her father's 50th birthday party and the judge denied her request.

Each of the families at the bond hearing, including one there for one of the victims, declined afterward to comment.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede. Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughton.