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Bond set on Kinard; jail issues discussed; councilman must stay out of Bamberg County for 90 days
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Bond set on Kinard; jail issues discussed; councilman must stay out of Bamberg County for 90 days

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A Bamberg County councilman accused of sex crimes against minors will be allowed to leave jail while he awaits trial, but he can’t come back to Bamberg County for 90 days.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman set Kerry Trent Kinard’s bond at $75,000 cash or surety during a Monday hearing.

He also stipulated that Kinard must be placed on GPS monitoring, have no contact with the victims in the case and stay out of Bamberg County for 90 days – with the exception of court hearings.

Once Kinard posts bail, he’ll live with his brother in Richland County.

Newman urged Kinard’s attorney, Bakari Sellers, to explain to Kinard that his “leash is very short” and any violations will be handled in court.

The 49-year-old Bamberg resident is facing the charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first-degree assault and battery, and two counts each of both criminal solicitation of a minor and dissemination of obscene material.

Newman previously requested that Kinard undergo a mental health evaluation. The evaluation’s findings were discussed during Monday’s bond hearing.

Sellers told the court that the independent psychiatrist who performed the evaluation determined that Kinard is “not a danger to the community or himself.”

Deputy 2nd Circuit Solicitor David Miller said, “We do take issue with the evaluation.”

Miller said Kinard self-reported that he didn’t have a substance abuse problem and that he didn’t have any suicidal ideations.

“But at the last court hearing, he was trying to get him out to go to rehab,” Miller said.

“When he said he doesn’t have a drug problem or an alcohol problem, I don’t think that’s accurate,” Miller said.

Sarah Ford, the attorney for the minors in the case, said, “There is certainly direct contradiction to that from the victims’ points of view.”

Kinard told the court later in the hearing, “I have not had any substance in over a year.” He claims he’s not consumed alcohol in five years.

Kinard has been held at the Bamberg County Detention Center for the past 32 days.

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Miller alleges Kinard engaged in an altercation with another inmate during his time in jail

Kinard was allegedly, “antagonizing an inmate that we believe has mental health issues. Mr. Kinard was asking the inmate would he like to call his mom or grandmother, knowing they were deceased,” Miller said.

Miller claimed the inmate became upset and walked away from Kinard, but Kinard followed him.

The inmate managed to get a lid from a round cooler and held it up, Miller said. Kinard allegedly “bowed up” and grabbed the inmate by the neck.

Jailers had to separate them.

Miller said the incident was captured on video.

Sellers said he hasn’t watched the video yet, but he said it’s clear the inmate came at Kinard first.

Miller said, “I don’t think Mr. Kinard can control himself.”

“I don’t know how the court can impose adequate restrictions on him when he can’t be adequately restricted in the jail,” he added.

“I do think he’s a danger to the community.”

Miller said personnel at the detention center have expressed further concerns.

“There was a decision made that he was going to be moved and jail administration said he would not be moved because the county administrator said he couldn’t be moved,” Miller said.

Miller said he has statements from several employees at the detention center who alleged that Kinard threatened their jobs.

Sellers said if Kinard is granted bond, he would be allowed to get the proper medical care and medication he needs.

“We have a man who is behind bars who’s not able to get the medical care he needs,” Sellers said.

“I’m not going to say he’s been a sterling inmate,” Sellers added.

He said, “We want an order of protection for all people. The victims and Kinard and Kinard to the victims.”

An order of protection hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Bamberg.

Gov. Henry McMaster cannot suspend Kinard from Bamberg County Council unless he is indicted by a grand jury, which has not happened.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD.

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