Man charged in 5-year-old's shooting death released on bond
Sha'Diamond Graham (Source: Graham family)
Clinton James McPhail (Source: DCSO)
HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - One man has been charged two weeks after a young girl from Hartsville died after an apparent accidental shooting in her Darlington County home.
Clinton McPhail was taken into custody Monday afternoon around 3:45 p.m. and charged with unlawful conduct toward a child in connection with the shooting death of a 5-year-old girl in Hartsville. Captain Andy Locklair with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office says the gun was unsecured and McPhail was not properly supervised the children in the home at the time of the incident.
The young girl, identified by Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee as 5-year-old Sha'Diamond Graham was playing with a gun in her home on McFarland Street on the evening of June 24 when the gun discharged and she was shot, Locklair said.
Locklair says the gun was found by children playing in the home, which family tells WMBF News Reporter Sean Maginnis is on the 300 block of McFarland Street near the intersection with Dunn Street.
Graham was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Graham's oldest sister, Cameka, says her sister was an upbeat child who had a knack for cheering people up.
"If you were going through something, she felt like she could feel it," Cameka Graham said. "She would tell you 'it'll be okay" or 'it'll be alright'."
This case remains under investigation by the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, SLED and the Department of Social Services.
Cameka Graham says the incident has forced her family to count their blessings.
"It's a simple accident," Cameka said. "But life is getting shorter by the day, and if there are any problems or anything going on, now is the time when people need to get together with their family and appreciate everything."
Locklair says this incident underscores the need for gun safety, especially considering the high availability of inexpensive or free gun locks.
To obtain a free gun safety lock for a firearm in your area, click here for information.
McPhail was given a $5,000 bond during a hearing Wednesday morning, Captain Locklair said, which was posted and he was released. His trial date has not been set.
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