Summerville family frustrated as 2015 murder suspect has yet to go to trial
SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The family of a mother who was shot dead at a busy Summerville intersection in 2015 is frustrated the man, who police say is responsible, has yet to go to trial.
Lynn Harrison, 57, of Summerville was shot and killed by Jimi Redman Jr., 35, of Texas, on April 2, 2015, according to Summerville police.
A spokesman for SPD said Redman was seen driving erratically and holding a rifle when he drove up to the intersection of Bacons Bridge road and Old Trolley Road and shot Harrison. According to authorities, Redman then drove away, but was arrested a short distance from the scene.
"He confessed to the murder, was still in possession of the weapon and several witnesses were able to identify him," Harrison's daughter Shanna Groves said Thursday. "As horrific as this is, we had a small amount of relief that this was an open/shut case and we were confident that we would see justice served fairly quickly."
Groves said that is not the case.
According to court records, a competency evaluation order was filed for Redman in June 2017. There have been no orders filed since.
"Unfortunately, here we are, nearing the three-year anniversary and we still do not have a concrete trial date."
Groves said the trial was supposed to start April 9, however she claims Redman's public defender, Mark Leiendecker is dragging this out.
"It has taken court appearances and pleading with judges to force him to do anything that he needs to do for this case," Groves said. "No matter the crime, an accused felon has the right to a speedy trial, but as victims, our justice system will allow public defenders like Leiendecker to drag out this process to the full extent. How is that justice?"
Redman, who claims to suffer from PTSD, has his bond denied by a magistrate judge one day after the shooting.
"Mr. Redman is a veteran of the United States Army who has since the time of his release has been struggling and suffering with issues related to that time he spent, as well as injuries sustained just weeks before he went to active duty in Iraq back in 2005 and 2006," Leiendecker said.
"That still doesn't give anybody the right to take another life," Groves said. "[My father] was a broken man. He really, really struggled, probably more than any of us. They had been married for 32 years. Mom was his best friend. Mom was everything to him.
Messages to Leiendecker were not immediately returned.
Not only has Groves been dealing with her mother's murder case, but her father, James Harrison, was also murdered in a triple homicide in Berkeley County in 2016.
"That murder happened 18 months after my mother's murder," she said. "We are closer to going to trial with my father's murder than we are my mother's."
She added the tragedy in her life has been tough to handle, but has tried to keep her parent's memories alive the best way she can.
"We planted this Magnolia tree for my mother right after [her death]," Groves said. "There's a tree right over there in the corner for dad… We still have their pictures up around the house, and we still follow the family traditions."
If a trial does not happen soon, Groves said she is considering contacting lawmakers and higher court officials to fix the situation.
Messages to the prosecutor for Dorchester County handling this case were not immediately returned.
Redman's Military Service & Health
According to Redman's lawyer, his client served in the US Army and has been struggling and suffering issues related to his time in service since he was released from the military.
"He has not been able to get help or treatment for those issues and his family has long thought and believe that he's been struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder issues as well as issues from a closed head injury," Leiendecker said.
Leiendecker stated in court that Redman was "in a significantly better place" than he was just a week ago when he talked with Redman. Leiendecker attributed it "in large part because the stability of the jail and because the medication he's on there, the sleep he's actually getting that he wasn't getting before that."
According to Leiendecker, Redman does not remember coming to and being in South Carolina.
Leiendecker said the first event he remembers in South Carolina was being in the Dorchester County Detention Center.
Redman's Past Convictions
Court officials revealed that Redman has several past convictions in the State of Texas dating back to 2007 when he was convicted for evading arrest; Pascoe said in 2008 his probation was revoked for the charge.
In the same year, Redman was convicted of driving under the influence second-offense, and in 2009 was convicted of driving while under the influence 3rd offense and received a 2-year prison sentence for that conviction, according to Pascoe.
Dorchester County Solicitor David Pascoe stated Redman was then convicted in 2013 for assault causing bodily injury to a family member, and the next year was arrested for DWI third-offense; the charge is still pending.
In March 2015, court officials say Redman was arrested for a charge relating to public intoxication, and was out on a $5,000 bond on the charge when authorities say he shot and killed Harrison the following month.
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