Latest News

Rock Hill teen in ‘wrong place’ died in Chester drive-by shooting, prosecutor says

A judge denied bond Monday to an accused gang member, whom prosecutors say confessed to a Chester drive-by shooting of a teenage girl in June.

The girl, 14-year-old Jada Darayona Jones, was in the “wrong place at the wrong time” when she was killed, said 6th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Candice Lively.

The judge also denied bond to a co-defendant, whom officials say admitted to being in the car when Jones was killed.

Rapheal Sidique Carter, 21, is charged with shooting and killing Jones on June 10.

Jones was visiting friend on Pinckney Street outside Chester when Carter started firing at the home, prosecutors say.

The other defendant, Hezekiah Roymel Tinsley, 19, was in the car and is charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Both were in court Monday, asking to be released before trial. They both were arrested in June, the day after Jones was killed.

Marcus McKnight, stepfather of the girl who died, said in court that Carter and Tinsley deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison for her death. He said they should not receive bond.

“They should suffer,” McKnight said of Carter and Tinsley. “They made their choices. I can’t get my child back.”

Jones was not the target of the shooting, said Lively.

Police are unsure whom Carter was trying to shoot when Jones was killed. The case remains under investigation.

Carter is a documented Roundtree Circle gang member, who may have been acting out gang orders, Lively said.

Carter confessed to the shooting to police, and Tinsely also implicated himself, Lively said.

A 2014 shootout involving gang members ended with the death of Chester City Councilman Odell Williams. Five Roundtree Circle gang members were convicted in that case, including the shooter, who is serving life in prison for murder.

Releasing Carter and Tinsley before the case goes to trial would put the community in danger, because of both having ties to guns and retaliation, Lively said.

“Mr. Carter is a threat to the safety of the people of Chester,” Lively said. “He could be in danger himself...These are people arming themselves with guns.”

Both Tinsley and Carter were arrested weeks before the shooting on weapon charges, Lively said.

Carter’s lawyer, 6th Circuit Deputy Public defender William Frick, denied Carter is a gang member but acknowledged that Carter gave a statement to police after the shooting.

A trial date has not been set.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald
Related stories from Rock Hill Herald