ORANGEBURG, SC (WCSC) - The mother accused of killing her two children walked into the courtroom in what appeared to be shackles Wednesday as she faced an Orangeburg County judge for an arraignment hearing.
When magistrate court judge Derrick Dash asked 29-year-old Shaquan Duley if she understood the charges against her, she replied, "Yes, sir" in a soft-spoken manner.
The judge began the hearing by asking, "How are you today, ma'am?"
Duley softly replied through tears, "OK, sir."
The court appearance was the first for Duley since authorities found her two boys dead inside a car floating in the Edisto River Monday morning.
Duley is being held in the Orangeburg County Detention Center and officials at the jail said she is on suicide watch.
The attorney representing Duley said earlier Wednesday, before her first court appearance that his client would likely enter a plea of not guilty.
Attorney Carl B. Grant said that he understands Duley, 29, is facing serious charges that evoke a strong emotional response. However, he said, Duley has the right to a fair trial.
"We ask everyone to keep an open mind and wait to hear the entire story," Grant said.
Grant declined requests to release details of his discussions with Duley, citing attorney-client privilege. He said he anticipates some details of Monday's incident to come out during the pending bond hearing, but they are waiting to receive the evidence the sheriff's office has amassed against her.
Joe Jevines of Orangeburg County was on his way to work early Monday morning when he saw Shaquan Duley on the side of the road and stopped to see if she was in trouble.
Jevines said Duley did not appear shaken and was not crying while telling him her two children were trapped inside a vehicle submerged in the Edisto River.
Jevines said he immediately called 911 and informed authorities of what had happened.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams says Duley was broke, unemployed and upset with her mother when she suffocated the 2-year-old boy and 18-month-old boy before putting them into the river. The bodies were recovered Monday.
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