How do we know the fix was in during the recent “stand your ground” immunity hearing for murderer Ronald Reid? Well, we have received plenty of correspondence from folks who watched the three day hearing. First some background for those folks new to Charleston Thug Life.
In June of 2013 two members of the Real Kings Motorcycle Club stopped in at the Cycle Gear store at 4400 Dorchester Road to do some shopping. Maurice Horry and his friend, Timothy Haymond, were inside the store when ten to fifteen members of the Wheels of Soul Motorcycle Club pulled in. The Wheels of Soul members were not there to shop. They were there to do damage.
Several Wheels of Soul members, including Ronald Reid, entered the store and immediately attacked Haymond. As they were beating him the Wheels of Soul members instructed Horry to step outside and get his ass whipping. When Horry stepped outside, Reid followed.
Horry, rightfully and understandably in fear for his own life and safety as well as that of his friend, stepped outside and retrieved his legally carried firearm from his motorcycle. Witnesses state he was so nervous he actually dropped his gun. According to witnesses, Horry opened fire on the Wheels of Soul members stomping on Haymond. Reid then opened fire on Horry. He shot Horry in the chest and Reid was shot in the leg. Horry managed to terminate Wheels of Soul members Theodore Waymyers, Jr. and Carlos Davis before he died.
Ronald Reid was arrested on a charge of murder. Barry Stinson of North Carolina and Derryl Gadson of Charleston were charged with Assault & Battery by Mob 2nd Degree. Charges against Stinson and Gadson are still pending.
The Wheels of Soul Motorcycle club hired the high priced and well connected Andy Savage to represent Reid. Together they decided to claim Reid’s killing of Maurice Horry was done in self-defense. The hearing started March 3rd and wrapped up on March 5th. Now, let’s talk about how the fix was in.
Trial watchers tell us they expected Andy Savage to come out guns blazing. Instead, he barely put any effort into it. His entire strategy consisted of putting Ronald Reid on the stand to tell the court what a nice guy he really is. Reid was basically nothing more than his own character witness. He claimed he had no idea why the large group went to the motorcycle shop. Other witnesses have contradicted that claim. After some limp questioning of the assigned investigator, Savage rested.
We are told Bruce Durant of the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office actually did a very good job of presenting the prosecution case. They presented a lot of witnesses against Reid, including some of those who were part of his group that went to Cycle Gear. These witnesses, Reid’s own friends and associates, testified the group of Wheels of Soul members went to the shop with the sole intention of assaulting Haymond because he had said some bad things about them in the past, and Horry because he had revved his engine when he rode past the Wheels of Soul gathering on Dorchester Road.
Because we all know words and engine noise are a great reason to beat someone bloody.
Trial watchers tell us that through all of that testimony by witnesses and investigators, Judge Roger Young appeared to be bored and was not engaged in the hearing at all. He chose instead to look through papers, fiddle with his computer and otherwise send a message to all he thought the hearing was a waste of time. And apparently it was, since the fix was in.
Do you get the implication there? Before every fact was in Judge Young let everyone know via his actions the decision was a done deal.
Judges are supposed to be impartial triers of fact. They are expected to listen to ALL of the evidence, then render a decision based on that evidence. Judge Young chose to ignore the evidence presented and discount the evidence yet to come. Why? He had already made his decision. Based on the evidence from trial watchers the decision in this case was obviously made before the proceedings began. Readers are free to interpret that perception in any way they see fit, but apparently the fix was in.
The prosecution’s final witness was Haymond. He told the story of the unprovoked attack, the beating he took and broke down in tears when he talked about having to watch his friend die. Judge Young continued to look bored.
Need further evidence the fix was in? On Wednesday morning a witness overheard a conversation someone was having with Andy Savage about the added security in the courthouse. Savage was heard to say something to the effect of, “Oh, there won’t be any trouble from MY side when the judge hands down THIS decision.” Curiously, the only folks who showed up to support Ronald Reid on Wednesday were members of his immediate family. Sounds to us like someone already knew what the decision would be and advised Reid’s supporters to stay away because they were expecting an outburst from Horry’s family. The fix was in.
Horry’s family was given the distinct impression things probably weren’t going to go their way. On Wednesday, with all of Maurice Horry’s family and supporters present in the courtroom, and with a ton of extra courtroom security, the judge took the bench. All he had to say was, “I will render my decision at a later date.” Sounds like Judge Young didn’t want to be around when his predetermined decision was handed down.
Another interesting aspect of this case has been the press coverage. In recent weeks the P&C included a sympathetic blurb about Reid’s case in a story on open carry of firearms. They decided it would be important to tell us how it “bothered” Reid to talk about killing Maurice Horry. We thought that was rather strange because their usual stance is to deride CWP holders who actually do have the right to self-defense and exercise it.
We would hope the solicitor’s office appeals this ridiculous “decision” by Judge Young. Aside from the fact that Maurice Horry’s family has been cheated of the justice they deserve, or at least the chance to have that evidence presented to a jury, the decision sets a terrible precedent. If this decision is allowed to stand, the meaning of self-defense in the the State of South Carolina will be forever changed.
The way things stand now in the wake of this decision, anyone can band together with a group of friends and hunt you down with the sole intention of assaulting and injuring you. When you attempt to exercise your God given and lawful right to self-defense those people can then murder you and have no fear of punishment via the legal system, unless one of their friends tells a judge they knew a beating was in the offing all along.
Do any of you remember the Columbia home invasion case where the homeowner was shot and killed in front of his son? The trial of the killer, Gregg Isaac, was stopped by Chief Justice Jean Toal of the South Carolina Supreme Court because she apparently believes Isaac’s contention of self-defense was a valid point to be considered. Isaac invaded the victim’s home armed with a weapon. Isaac claimed he saw a gun in the victim’s waistband while the victim was fighting off another of the home invaders. Isaac says he was afraid the home-owner would shoot him, so he shot first. Isaac and his attorney, and apparently the perpetually intoxicated Chief Justice, all feel he is entitled to a claim of self-defense in the matter.
So, was the fix really in here in Charleston County? Did a sitting judge do a friendly favor or repay a debt to a high powered attorney? Or did Judge Roger Young simply follow Toal’s contention that someone committing a crime was entitled to the “stand your ground” defense when their victims tried to defend themselves or others?
So, jump on it, citizens. Find someone you hate and go smack ‘em around. Make ‘em bleed. When you finally goad them into defending himself (or herself) pull your gun and put two in their chest. Or if you are really good, two in their chest, one in their head. Might as well show off your skills now that you have the opportunity. Once they are down, holster up and wait for cops. When they get there, just say, “Self-defense!” You might as well now that Judge Young has given you the precedent that allows you to winnow down your list of enemies.
Was the fix in? Or is this just one of those things you expect from the nonsensical courts in the Lowcountry? Or maybe it’s just a typical South Carolina political thing. It seems strangely coincidental that such a poor legal decision, which does nothing but fly in the face of established law and muddy the waters when it comes legally defining self-defense, comes at a time when eighteen black Democrats from some of the most crime and gang infested areas in South Carolina are proposing a bill to weaken the self-defense exception.
Let’s look at one of the parts of South Carolina law they want to do away with:
Your Democrat legislators want to remove the portion of the law that states Maurice Horry was entitled to self-defense. Judge Young just did exactly that with his decision. Horry and Haymond were lawfully at Cycle Gear. They were minding their own business when they were attacked. Maurice Horry had no duty to retreat. He had every right to defend himself and his friend.
Contrast that with Ronald Reid. He and his group followed Horry and Haymond to Cycle Gear to confront and attack the pair over some perceived disrespect. Witnesses stated that was why the group went to Cycle Gear. They were not engaged in lawful activity. Members of the group entered the business and immediately began beating and stomping Haymond. Their actions precipitated the need for Maurice Horry to defend himself and his friend to prevent great bodily harm or death.
There are only two possibilities here, folks. Judge Young has either badly misinterpreted the law or something shady has occurred here. No reasonable person could possibly come to the conclusion that Reid was entitled to immunity on a claim of self-defense. We think that in addition to an appeal, the 9th Circuit Solicitor and Maurice Horry’s family should ask for an inquiry into the facts behind this decision. We already know the Judicial Review Committee is a worthless entity. Maybe a request to the State Attorney General would be in order? We aren’t exactly sure who investigates judges.
Judges in South Carolina are not accountable to the people in any way. That needs to rectified.