McDonald (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - During his first court appearance, one suspect in the fatal shooting of a Coastal Carolina Student was denied bond. Now he's been moved out of Horry County.
Marquis Spencer McDonald, 20, was read his charges for the shooting of 19-year-old Anthony Liddell: one count of murder, a felony that carries a sentence of 30 years to death and one count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.
McDonald showed no emotion while his charges were read, but addressed the court, saying: "This is one of my best friends that got killed. And he [Liddell] saved my life. And if it weren't for him, he'd be in here, and I'd be dead."
Now barely two weeks after that first appearance and awaiting his second day in court, McDonald has been transferred to the Florence County Detention Center in Effingham.
Tom Fox, director of J. Reuben Long Detention Center, says the transfer was make at the request of SLED. Though they didn't give a reason, Fox explains that in case like this one, its a good idea to separate suspects charged in the same case.
McDonald's bond hearing could be as early as April. He said in court that he will hire his own attorney.
The solicitor for the case says when it comes time for McDonald's bond hearing, there will be two major factors in deciding the amount.
The first factor is if McDonald is considered a flight risk. This will be determined based off the severity of his charges and how likely he is to run.
The second will be if McDonald is considered a danger to the community. This is also slightly based off current charges, but also takes into account any prior charges on his record.
McDonald has previous charges of aggravated assault and battery from 2010.
SLED and other law enforcement agencies involved will continue to build their case against McDonald, and police reports will be compiled for the solicitor and defense attorney.
During his next appearance, he will either ask for a trial or plead guilty, officials said.
McDonald turned himself into SLED authorities just three days after the shooting death of Liddell, Horry County Sheriff's officials said. He was announced as the suspect in his death hours before he turned himself in.
Liddell, a sophomore student from Bennettsville, died Tuesday as a result of a shooting incident at University Place residence hall, CCU spokeswoman Martha Hunn confirmed.
CCU law enforcement and SLED officers worked with various agencies since the Feb. 26 shooting to gather information that led them to naming McDonald as the suspect in the shooting.
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