Family members say accused drug dealer Calvin Busby didn’t fire the shot that killed a 14-year-old.
Shakeyia Benjamin said Busby has told his family he fired several warning shots in the air to frighten away his would-be robbers.
“To me, that says a lot right there about what happened,” Benjamin said. “I know he’s hurting that a child got hurt.”
Terek Wright, 14, of 140 Joe Paul Drive, Cordova, died from loss of blood after being shot in the abdomen.
He and two others attempted to rob Busby in an otherwise quiet Cordova neighborhood on Monday night, officials claim. Brothers John Riley, 20, and Jerrell Richardson, 17, both of 231 Joe Paul Drive, are each charged with attempted armed robbery.
Busby was taken in on a charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
With the three in close proximity for their bond hearing Wednesday, law enforcement officers lined the rear wall of the courtroom in the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Law Enforcement Complex.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Investigator Riley Godwin asked the court for bond reflective of the fatal incident.
“A 14-year-old did lose his life,” Riley said. “Just the seriousness of it, we ask for a high cash or surety bond.”
Orangeburg County Magistrate Maree Williamson asked for a victim’s advocate to answer the court’s concern that no one represented the victim, in this case the deceased, during the hearing.
If present, the deceased’s family did not address the court.
In a twist, the court’s attention was then turned to Busby, who investigators say was the victim of the robbery attempt.
Busby declined to speak concerning bond for Riley and Richardson.
Williamson set bond on the two brothers at $25,000 surety each.
However, before he could leave the courtroom, Richardson was further charged with possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
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Williamson then upped his bond amount.
“Your bond is $25,000 additional for a total of $50,000,” Williamson said.
Bond was also set on Busby at $25,000.
The question remains who fired the fatal shot that killed Wright, a suspended student at Carver-Edisto Middle School.
Investigators said Wright was in possession of a .22-caliber rifle during the robbery attempt. One other gun was present in the trio. With Wednesday’s late charge, investigators are saying that second weapon was carried by Richardson.
Busby also allegedly had a weapon that night.
What investigators believe happened is that just a few minutes before midnight, the trio of Wright, Riley and Richardson approached Busby’s residence. All of those involved lived within 200 yards of one another.
The sequence of events at that point becomes murky. What is not, though, is several shots were fired, reportedly by multiple weapons.
Later, Riley and Richardson were walking along Legrand Smoak Drive near a convenience store when they were found by a patrolling deputy. They said there had been a drive-by shooting.
That story didn’t hold up and authorities were then led to Busby’s residence. Investigators said they found several bags of marijuana and some scales at Busby’s home.
That still leaves Wright, a 14-year-old youth from Colleton County who had been sent here to live with relatives. No one has been charged in his death.
Investigators say they are still sorting through the evidence trying to determine who may have fired the fatal shot.
Investigators haven’t said as of Wednesday when any ballistics results may be completed.
Solicitor David Pascoe said the case — and who fired the fatal shot — remains under investigation. “I’m waiting to see what all the facts are before I make a decision,” he said.
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