CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Supreme Court replaced Chief Magistrate James Gosnell Wednesday effective immediately.
Gosnell presided over Friday's bond hearing for Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof. Gosnell sparked controversy with a statement he made at the beginning of the hearing.
"Charleston is a very strong community. We have big hearts. We're a very loving community," Gosnell said. "And we are going to reach out to everyone, all victims, and we will touch them. We have victims, nine of them. But we also have victims on the other side. There are victims on this young man's side of the family. Nobody would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they have been thrown into. We must find it in our heart at some point in time, not only to help those that are victims, but to help his family as well."
A court order signed by South Carolina Chief Justice Jean Toal appointed Charleston County Associate Chief Magistrate Ellen Steinberg to Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts for Charleston County.
The order named Magistrate Leroy Linen as Associate Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes of the Summary Courts for Charleston County.
Terms of chief magistrates run for six months and Gosnell's was set to expire on June 30, South Carolina Supreme Court Clerk of Court spokesperson Rosalyn Frierson said. It is "not uncommon" for a magistrate to be replaced before his or her term has ended, she said.
Gosnell remains a magistrate judge.