Solicitor pushes for tougher laws after Georgetown Co. double murder suspect granted bond

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 7:14 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 6:50 AM EST
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A man accused of shooting and killing another man is in custody, but it’s not the first time he’s been behind bars and charged with murder.

Authorities arrested Ryan O’Neil Woodruff, 30, on Tuesday and charged him with murder in 19-year-old Tyquez Demetrius Walker’s shooting death.

But authorities said Woodruff shot and killed Walker while he was out on bond while awaiting trial for a double murder back in 2021.

“This turned out really, really bad,” said 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson. “You are sad, you don’t want anything like that to happen. I’m sure the defense attorney didn’t want this to happen, nobody wants to see another person lose their life.”

Woodruff is accused of murdering Debra Goins and Roger Woodruff Sr. in May of 2021. That arrest warrant shows he allegedly hit the two victims in the head with an object.

Richardson oversaw Woodruff’s 2021 bond hearing.

The original bond was denied but Woodruff was granted a second bond hearing.

At the second hearing, Woodford was given a $100,000 bond. Although bonds are set on a case-by-case basis, Richardson said he did the best he could.

“There’s nothing I can change. We told him about the double homicide. We told him about the facts of that case. We told him about everything that made us believe that he was a danger. Is very rare that we all make mistakes. But is very rare for me to come in and say that I couldn’t change a thing about what we did. We did the very best that we could with the information,” said Richardson.

Richardson said it’s common to see people out on bond for murder charges. In fact, Horry County has 84 people out on bond with those charges. Richardson hopes state lawmakers to pass tougher laws on murder bonds.

“I am in favor of bond reform. We’ve had a little bit of bond reform that says: If you are out on a violent crime, a magistrate can’t set the next bond. But it would be hard to legislate to say absolutely no bond if you’re charged with murder,” said Richardson

There is no bond date set for Woodruff’s recent murder case.

The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office said his bond hearing will be in general session months from now.

As for the 2021 trial, the date has yet to be set.

The solicitor’s office doesn’t set a trial date anymore; after COVID-19, the clerk of court is in charge of setting trial dates.