Clinton College student accused in stabbing banned from campus

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comOctober 5, 2013 

Jasmine Smith

— Jasmine Smith can go to Clinton College one last time while she’s awaiting trial for attempted murder, a judge said Saturday.

Escorted by a college administrator and police, Smith, 19, of Marietta, Ga., will be able to collect her belongings from her dormitory at the Crawford Road campus. The judge also ruled Smith is forbidden from making contact with the woman she’s accused of stabbing in the arm Friday afternoon.

The visit to Clinton College will happen only after she’s released from jail on a $90,000 bond, Rock Hill Municipal Judge Peter Lenzi decided.

Police arrested Smith on Friday after they say she took out a pocket knife and stabbed 19-year-old Adavia Galloway, of Gastonia, N.C., in her right arm during an argument outside the female dormitory.

The argument began at about 4 p.m. after one of the women accused the other of stealing something from her dorm room, said Executive Officer Mark Bollinger of the Rock Hill Police Department. It’s unclear who accused who, but police say it’s believed the two were not roommates.

No other people were involved in the fight, Bollinger said.

Friends drove Galloway to Piedmont Medical Center where she underwent surgery.

A family member who did not give her name at Saturday’s bond hearing said the attack punctured 99 percent of one of Galloway’s veins, requiring surgeons to insert an artificial vein in her arm. She also required blood transfusions.

Smith turned herself in to police about four hours later, and was charged with attempted murder, a felony carrying up to 30 years in prison.

On Saturday, splatters of blood still dotted a trail from the female dormitory to the outskirts of Clinton College’s campus.

Priscilla Gray, a second-year liberal arts student at the college, said she was not on campus when the incident happened, but she had heard about it.

The attack, she said, does not make her feel unsafe on campus. “It happens,” said Gray, 21. “People do stuff because of (their) temper and anger.”

Brian Muhammad, a 20-year-old liberal arts student, said he last got into a fight in middle school. Since then, he keeps his associations with people limited to class, projects and tutoring.

“Everybody is so close” at Clinton, said Muhammad, who said he knew Galloway and Smith. While the incident isn’t typical for the college, he said he’s not concerned for his safety.

First-year student Kenny Finley, 19, said he’s always on his guard. Even if the incident didn’t happen, he would still be watching his back.

“I don’t know the situation,” said 18-year-old Donte Short, a first-year student. But, “it shouldn’t have (gone) that far,” he said.

According to Smith, going “that far” was never the intention.

“I never wanted to fight Adavia,” Smith told members of Galloway’s family during Saturday’s bond hearing. “Truthfully, I apologize because I did not mean for all of this to happen.” Smith described Galloway as a former friend.

Judge Lenzi ordered Smith to have no contact with Galloway, whether it be on Clinton College’s campus or off. That, he said, would forbid her from living in her dormitory.

Smith told Judge Lenzi that she is able to move in with her boyfriend.

When one of Galloway’s relatives asked the judge if Smith could be removed from school, the suspect put her head in her hands. She later sobbed when she saw her boyfriend sitting in the courtroom.

Clinton College President Elaine Copeland asked Lenzi if Smith could continue her education if faculty members instructed her off campus.

“Both of these young ladies are in our care,” Copeland said, adding that they both should graduate in May. “I would love to have both of them finish the semester. This is a semester loss for both of them.”

Smith told Judge Lenzi she planned to continue her education after leaving Clinton College.

Lenzi said it will be up to a Circuit Court judge at a later hearing to determine if the college is able to keep Smith in school while ensuring that she stay away from Galloway.

Lenzi said he can’t control Galloway’s whereabouts. Since Smith is charged, the court can set limitations on what she can and can not do.

“If you and your boyfriend walk into McDonalds and sit down for your happy meal, and Ms. Galloway walks in, your happy meal just became to-go,” he said. “You have to leave.”

Copeland declined to comment after the hearing, refusing to even discuss college disciplinary procedures or general safety until “the case is resolved.”

In the past, Copeland has said that the college performs criminal background checks on prospective students. Lenzi said Smith has no prior criminal history.

When The Herald tried to speak with Smith’s boyfriend, Copeland grabbed him, declared “no comment” and tried to usher him out of the courthouse.

Galloway, according to family in court, is listed in “guarded condition” at the hospital.

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082

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