Fugitive Jeroid Price captured 78 days after court reversed early release
Price’s attorney releases statement on Price’s capture
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - A tip phoned in to authorities from someone in South Carolina led authorities to capture a convicted killer in New York state more than two months after the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered him back to prison.
Jeroid Price, 43, who was convicted in the 2002 shooting death of Charleston native Carl “Dash” Smalls Jr. in Columbia, had been released in March, 16 years early during his 35-year prison sentence. But the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned his early release in April, and the day after that ruling, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott labeled him a fugitive for failing to turn himself in to authorities.
FBI spokesman Kevin Wheeler said the Violent Crimes Task Force, which is made up of agents from the FBI and the New York Police Department, arrested Price at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Agents were acting on a tip that came in to South Carolina law enforcement authorities, SLED spokesman Ryan Alphin said.
The tip came from someone in South Carolina, Attorney General Alan Wilson said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference in Columbia, but he did not yet know whether that person had requested a reward or was eligible for it.
First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, the original prosecutor on the case, said the FBI had tips that Price was at an apartment complex in New York. Authorities captured him at approximately 11 a.m. Wilson said Price’s arrest in the Bronx was a “non-use of force-type event.”
“I don’t want to say it was peaceful but there was no force needed and he was apprehended without any event occurring,” he said.
Attorney Todd Rutherford, who is also the House Minority Leader in the State House, released this statement on the arrest Wednesday afternoon:
It is good to know Jeroid Price is safe from those outside who seek to do him harm. Now he has to worry about those in government who continue to heap harm on him. While serving in prison, he helped the people of South Carolina -- and his reward has been to have his life endangered by people seeking political gain.
Smalls’ father, Carl Smalls Sr., said Lott called him Wednesday morning to let him know of Price’s arrest.
“Today is a great day,” Smalls said shortly after that call. “We’re feeling good, thankful and grateful to law enforcement.”
SLED Director Mark Keel released a statement after news broke of Price’s arrest:
The arrest of Jeriod Price demonstrates the strength of law enforcement partnerships nationwide. This is yet another example that when law enforcement and the community work together, fugitives cannot and will not escape justice. I continue to encourage the public to come forward with tips in cases like this one to bring justice to victims of violent crime in South Carolina.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson released the following statement a short time after Price’s capture:
Jeriod Price is no longer a wanted man. No matter how hard you try, no matter your position or connections, you can’t outrun the law. Locating and apprehending Price would not have been possible without our dedicated federal and state law enforcement partners. Price never should have been released, and I hope the victim’s family can rest a little easier tonight knowing he’s back behind bars. Let this be a message to everyone: if you break the law, we’ve got an army coming for you.
The Smalls family said on Tuesday those responsible for the release of their son’s killer have not faced any consequences even though the state Supreme Court ruled the release was improper.
A reward of up to $60,000 was being offered for information leading to Price’s capture, but it was not immediately clear whether the reward would be offered or to whom it might go.
Pascoe said law enforcement believed he had been traveling back and forth between Charlotte, Atlanta and New York, and possibly New Mexico.
There will be no extradition process because Price will be treated like an escaped convict, Pascoe said. He is expected to be returned to South Carolina soon but a specific timetable was not immediately released.
“Upon his return to South Carolina, Price will be taken to Kirkland Reception and Evaluation Center in Columbia, where he will remain until his permanent custody placement is determined,” Alphin said. “Any issues involving safety will be addressed during this process.”
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