Trial date set for suspect in CCU student's slaying
22-year-old Stephon McLain Jr. (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
20-year-old Marquis Spencer McDonald (Source: WMBF News Reporter Will Whitson)
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The trial date has been set for one of the two suspects accused of shooting and killing a man at an off-campus housing complex in February 2013.
The date for Marquis McDonald, 20, to appear in court has been set for September 15, according to Senior Assistant Solicitor Brad Richardson with the Horry County Solicitor's Office. There have been no motions for change of venue, so the trial is scheduled to take place in Horry County.
McDonald and Stephon McLain, Jr., 22, are accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Anthony Darnell Liddell at an off-campus housing complex on February 26.
Following the arrests, the two suspects were separated into separate prisons after being taken into custody and charged with murder. McLain is being housed at J. Reuben Long Detention Center. His date for trial has not been set.
In early April, the Grand Jury granted these two men a "true bill," which means they found there was probable cause, according to Richardson. Richardson continued to prepare his case against McLain and McDonald to present to a Grand Jury.
On May 8, the two men appeared separately before Judge Hyman. McDonald went first, and that's when Assistant Solicitor Richardson revealed the cell phone discovered by SLED at the crime scene belonging to McDonald.
Richardson said McDonald admitted to police he met with his close friend Liddell that night to facilitate a drug transaction and tried to stop the robbery of Liddell, though witnesses say that is not the case.
Apparently, Anthony Liddell was listed in McDonald's phone as "Coastal Bud Boy." Richardson then commented that McDonald sold marijuana to Liddell.
"The relationship did not appear to be as close as were led to believe by the defendant," Richardson said. "In my cell phone, I list my friends by their name, possibly their nickname. I don't know what anybody else called Anthony 'Coastal Bud Boy.'"
The arguments for bond from the solicitor's office included a warning that McDonald has told an unidentified third party he would flee the area if released from custody.
The solicitor's office asked that McDonald be denied bond. Defense Attorney Greg McCollum then spoke up saying McDonald's uncle is an Horry County Police Officer.
His attorney insisted McDonald is not a flight risk but does have two children that live outside of South Carolina. During these proceedings McDonald showed very little emotion.
Judge Hyman said, "If I give him electronic monitoring, you'll be here next week telling another judge to take it off."
The judge denied bond for Marquis Spencer McDonald, citing that he is a danger to the community and flight risk. He will be allowed another bond hearing in six months.
"Everybody begins this process presumed innocent," McCollum said. "In the bond hearing, I go into it thinking a person should receive bond."
The second suspect, Stephon McLain waived his bond hearing.
The mother of Anthony Liddell was present in the courtroom for the bond hearings.