Judge denies bond for one in murder case of Lancaster Co. deputy's brother
The victim in a Lancaster County murder was confirmed in court Thursday to be the brother of the county’s police drug unit supervisor. That means the case will be handled by the attorney general’s office instead of local prosecutors.
Joel McLemore, 29, was shot in the head Sept. 27 on a porch in Lancaster. McLemore’s brother is Lt. Ryan McLemore, supervisor of the Lancaster County drug task force, court testimony showed Thursday. Randy Newman, 6th Circuit Solicitor, said he asked the attorney general to take over the case because his office often works on cases with Ryan Mclemore.
“We want to avoid any appearance of bias because of the relationship of my office with the brother of the victim,” Newman said.
The S.C. Attorney General’s Office has taken over prosecution of: Demarcus O’Brien Foster, the alleged shooter; Foster’s girlfriend, Maryam Rivera; and another man allegedly at the scene, Quinterius Truesdale. Foster, who was out on bond in connection with several felony drug, weapons and other cases, remains in jail without bond.
Ryan Mclemore, who was identified in court Thursday only as a member of the victim’s family, said his family opposes bond for the defendants. There has been no connection made in the case of any connection between the drug unit and the murder. Nor has any motive been stated about why Joel McLemore was killed.
A Lancaster County detective, Jennifer Rumbaugh, called the killing “ a senseless crime” but did not elaborate. A State Law Enforcement Division agent, Kristen Grant, said in court the investigation is “ongoing with a lot of moving parts.”
Rivera was identified by Heather Weiss, deputy attorney general, Thursday in court as the alleged getaway driver during the shooting. Rivera was caught on video driving the car, Weiss said. Prosecutors wanted Rivera, charged with accessory after the murder, kept in jail without bond. However, Judge Dan Hall gave Rivera, who has no criminal record, a $25,000 bond under house arrest.
Rivera’s lawyer, Nathan Sheldon, said Rivera “does not want to be wrapped up in any murder.”
Truesdale, charged with assisting Foster evade police and accessory to murder, was denied bond. At the time of the killing, he was out on bond for several felony charges, including two armed robberies.