‘The system has failed us’ - Victim’s family speaks out after suspect gets bond for murder charge

“The system has failed us” - Victim’s family speaks out after suspect gets bond for murder charge

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The family of a woman who was shot and killed three days before Christmas is asking for justice.

Shaquanna Matthews, a 38-year-old North Charleston woman, died from a gunshot wound on December 22, 2019.

North Charleston police say two men were arrested for the shooting that happened outside of the Suburban Lodge on Meeting Street. During that shooting, Matthews was killed and another man was injured.

Michael Tiven Bolton and Michael C. Whitlock Jr. were charged with murder, attempted murder, and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime.

According to South Carolina law, a magistrate judge cannot set bond for murder, so the suspect must go in front of a circuit judge to ask for bond. During that hearing, a judge gave Bolton a $60,000 bond for murder.

Matthews' family believes that is too low of a bond for someone accused of taking a life.

"It is really, really hard to know this has happened to our family," said Shannon Matthews, Shaquanna's sister. "For someone to be let out on the lowest bond that I can think of and walk free on these charges is ridiculous."

Attorneys Myesha Brown and Margie Pizarro are representing Matthews' family. They explained how the process works when it comes to a bond hearing.

"The factors the judge could consider is whether the defendant is a flight risk, whether or not the defendant will appear, whether or not the defendant will be a danger to the community in spite on the current charges," Brown said.

Matthews' family is preparing for the second suspect, Whitlock, to go before a judge.

Kevin Myers, Matthew's husband, hopes the judge will deny a bond for Whitlock.

"I just believe if you're charged with murder you should not be going free," Myers said. "I understand he could get a hearing, but from that hearing I don't think he deserves to get a bond and especially a low bond."

Whitlock will have a bond hearing on Friday.

“We’re hoping that Mr. Myers and his family are able to articulate some of the reasons why this person should not be released on bond, or at least a reasonable bond for murder in which someone’s life was taken,”Pizarro said.

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