MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - A judge denied bond for the second suspect in a triple homicide in Berkeley County at a hearing Sunday.
Donelle McKelvey faces three counts of accessory before the fact of murder.
The family of 19-year old Malik Gibbs stood in bond court Sunday morning, asking the judge to deny bond for McKelvey.
McKelvey surrendered to authorities on Saturday and deputies arrested co-defendant Jay Quan Washington on Friday. Washington is accused of carrying out the shooting of three men in a car in Pineville.
New documents released over the weekend allege there was a text exchange between the two before the murders. Deputies believe Washington texted McKelvey for permission to “complete his mission.” Investigators claim that mission was the killing of Martice Green, Desmond Williams and the youngest, Malik Gibbs.
Although Gibbs’ family did not want to talk on camera, his father spoke on Friday, saying his son’s life was taken far too soon.
“There’s just no words to explain how it ended up like this," Michael Lee Gibbs Sr., said. “There just isn’t.”
McKelvey’s family attend his hearing this morning and said they don’t agree with the decision.
”I just feel as so some unfortunate current event, he’s been placed in a bad situation with the friends that he was hanging with," McKelvey’s cousin, Markela Smalls, said.
Authorities have said they believe the motive for the murders appears to be robbery and that the victims were set up.
McKelvey surrendered to Berkeley County detectives Saturday afternoon, deputies say.
Berkeley County deputies arrested Jay Quan Washington on January 23. Washington was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
An arrest warrant released Friday night states that Washington’s fingerprint was recovered from the outside of the rear passenger window of the car. The warrant states that Washington’s cell phone showed text messages between Washington and another person.
Authorities say these messages include Washington saying he was in the car with the victims, asking for permission to “complete his mission" at 11:47 a.m., and reporting that the victims are DOA at 3:51 p.m.
According to investigators, Washington admitted to being with two of the victims earlier in the day of the incident but said he left the victims before 11 a.m.
On January 20, Berkeley County deputies responded to Crawl Hill Drive and discovered three people dead in a vehicle. The discovery was made after Berkeley County dispatch received a call about a disabled car that appeared to have been involved in a car accident.
“The killing of those three individuals was senseless,” Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said. “Deputies worked around the clock to bring justice for the deceased. This case was solved with the hard work of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office detectives, FBI and SLED Agents. This was a group effort and I am glad we will be able to hold those two men accountable for their actions.”