ROCK HILL — The sister of a Rock Hill murder suspect told a judge on Wednesday that she did nothing wrong when police say she helped the man escape to Florida.
But Rock Hill Municipal Court Judge Jane Modla wasn’t convinced or moved, and she denied bond for Deemetria McClinton, 25, who police charged on Tuesday with accessory after murder. She is accused of providing her brother, 20-year-old Kenyan McClinton, with “material assistance” for his and another suspect’s stay in Osceola County, Fla.
Also charged is the McClintons’ mother, Arliver McClinton, 40, who works at a Bojangles restaurant in Chester County. The two McClinton women turned themselves in after learning that police had issued warrants for their arrests.
On Tuesday morning, authorities arrested Shakira McCullough, Kenyan McClinton’s 18-year-old girlfriend, at South Pointe High School, where she’s a student.
Bond for McCullough was denied Tuesday afternoon. She is currently held at the York County Detention Center.
On Nov. 19, police charged Kenyan McClinton, 20, Desmond Cunningham, 21, and Laterrious Ashley, 20, with murder after finding Jordan Poirier, 20, shot to death in his Stone Haven apartment off Celanese Road. Police learned from a witness that one of the people who fled the scene was shot in an arm. After checking with local hospitals for gunshot victims, police learned that Ashley had been treated at Carolinas Medical Center in Pineville. He later was transferred to CMC’s main hospital in Charlotte.
Ashley waived extradition from North Carolina and was transported Tuesday to Rock Hill, where bond was denied Wednesday.
Police later identified Cunningham and McClinton as suspects and asked for the public’s help in finding them.
The night of Poirier’s slaying, police questioned McClinton’s mother and sister and McCullough, said Rock Hill Police Capt. Steve Thompson. The women said they did not have information about McClinton’s whereabouts.
Authorities eventually learned that Cunningham and McClinton were in Florida and that the McClinton women and McCullough gave them “material assistance” in getting and “hiding” there, Thompson told the judge on Wednesday.
Police declined to elaborate about what kind of help the three women provided. Police also will not say how they determined the two men were in Florida. The men are awaiting extradition to Rock Hill.
John Barnette, founder of Charlotte’s True Healing Under God civil rights organization, said Cunningham called him on Saturday, asking if the activist would pick him up because he was tired of running from the law. Barnette declined but joined with Cunningham’s family in convincing both him and McClinton to turn themselves in to Florida authorities.
Wednesday morning, Modla told Deemetria McClinton, single mother to two children, 5 and 6, that she does not qualify for a public defender because she makes too much money at her job at iQor, a Charlotte-based customer service company. She will have to hire an attorney.
“We turned ourselves in,” Deemetria McClinton said to Modla after Thompson made a comment about her arrest. “My mama called and said they have a warrant for our arrests.”
Police spent much of Tuesday searching for the McClinton women at their respective jobs until they both turned themselves in before 6 p.m.
Deemetria McClinton told Modla she is not a flight risk.
“I didn’t do anything, and I’m not fixin’ to run from anything I didn’t do,” she said, choking back sobs. “I promise you ... I can’t do this to my kids.”
Modla replied: “Problem is, the defendants are in Florida and you’re accused of getting them there.”
She denied Deemetria McClinton’s bond, telling her she would have the opportunity to appear before a Circuit Court judge for another chance at leaving jail before her trial.
Arliver McClinton qualifies for a public defender, Modla told her, but will have to report her latest charges to her probation officer.
State Law Enforcement Division records show that Arliver McClinton is serving three years probation after being convicted of forgery and financial identity fraud in 2011. In February 1998, she was sentenced to probation and made to pay restitution after she was convicted of forgery. Six months later, she was sentenced to five years probation after convictions for forgery and breach of trust.
In 2004, was she sent to the state Department of Corrections after being sentenced to five years in prison for forgery and breach of trust. In 2011, she was convicted of giving false information to police and violation of a beginner’s permit.
Poirier’s death is Rock Hill’s third homicide this year. Police have said he died in a shootout at the apartment but not have released a motive. Police say they are still investigating whether drugs were a factor in the killing and are awaiting ballistics tests from SLED to determine who shot the two handguns found at the scene.