Judge rules cop-involved shootout case will go to trial

Mark Blake Jr. (Source: CCDC) and Officer Cory Goldstein (Source: Facebook)
Mark Blake Jr. (Source: CCDC) and Officer Cory Goldstein (Source: Facebook)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A judge has ruled the case against the man accused of shooting a Charleston Police Department officer after fleeing a traffic stop in West Ashley will go to trial.

Charleston County Magistrate Judge James Gosnell Jr. said Tuesday that the charges against 26-year-old Mark Blake Jr. would be bound over for trial. Blake is charged with attempted murder and failure to stop for blue lights.

State Law Enforcement Division agents say Blake shot Officer Cory Goldstein three times late Mar. 30 during a gunfight behind the Comfort Suites located at 2080 Savannah Highway. SLED agents said the incident started when Goldstein tried to pull Blake over near the intersection of Savannah Highway and Dupont Road.

SLED agents said Blake refused to stop, before eventually crashing on the on-ramp of Interstate 526. Investigators say Blake then ran towards the Comfort Suites, and Goldstein followed behind. While running, investigators said Blake abruptly stopped and turned to face Goldstein, then pointed a black Glock 22 and fired several shots at the officer. According to SLED, Goldstein then fired several shots from his weapon at Blake.

Blake was shot twice during the incident. He and Goldstein were treated for their injuries and Goldstein was released from the hospital the next day.

The incident has prompted state lawmakers to address an issue with bond amounts for repeat offenders. Just days after the incident, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen and Mayor Joe Riley held a news conference to stress problems with the current system.

Blake had been released from the Charleston County Detention Center earlier this year after he was arrested on heroin trafficking charges in late February. Mullen said Blake was already out on bond from 2012 drug-related charges when he was arrested in February.

Mullen said he was physically ill when word of the shootout reached him. He challenged law-enforcement agencies, citizens, and the media to put a systemic failure under the microscope, "The system failed Cory Goldstein […] Blake should have been in jail."

Senator Robert Ford's proposed legislation, Senate Bill, 19, has passed the SC Senate.  It requires offenders who are on bond for serious or most serious offenses and commit another serious crime must have their bond for the new charge heard by a Circuit Court judge.

Blake's first court date is set for June 28.

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