There is little, or no, joy on Christmas for Porscha Simon. Because her daughter’s boyfriend, who allegedly shot her dead a year ago in Lancaster and staged the killing to look like suicide, has never been caught.
For a year, Keishawn “Kilo” McManus, 23, has gotten away with what police say is murder. This came after he was already arrested for another murder, then released on bond.
And Christmas approaches again for Simon without her daughter, Quatavia Robinson, who died at age 18.
“He’s out there – somewhere,” said Simon of McManus. “He could hurt someone –again.”
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You don’t send out Christmas cards when the S.C. Attorney General’s Office holds its annual “Silent Witness” ceremony for victims of domestic violence. Here is what state prosecutors said about what happened two days before Christmas, 2014.
“Keishawn McManus shot Quatavia Robinson at their home on Dec. 23, 2014. Mr. McManus then called 911 to report that his live-in girlfriend had committed suicide. Law enforcement arrived to discover Ms. Robinson unresponsive. Mr. McManus fled the area after speaking with officers. It was later determined that Ms. Robinson did not commit suicide. Warrants have been issued for Mr. McManus’ arrest for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He has not been arrested due to his unknown whereabouts.”
The two were a couple after meeting at work, a poultry processing plant outside Monroe, N.C., where Robinson is from. They started dating in the summer.
Robinson, said her mother, had no idea that McManus was out on bond for murder, drugs and weapons. This is a man who reportedly liked to use social media to brag and talk about the marijuana he smoked.
McManus did not brag that he also was charged with another murder. He was out on the street, free to work and meet Robinson, despite having a pending murder charge as well as weapons and cocaine distribution charges. In August 2012, McManus and another man were charged in what police said was a drug deal turned killing. McManus was in jail from August 2012 to late 2013, awaiting trial.
But by late 2013, because the court system moves so slowly in Lancaster County, and McManus’s lawyer argued that McManus was entitled to a bond under the state and federal constitutions, McManus had his day in court and was given bond – $50,000.
Apex Bail Bonding company in Lancaster put up the bond and McManus was set free.
A year later, he allegedly killed again.
In the Dec. 23, 2014, incident, McManus told police that when he got home he found Robinson not breathing on the bedroom floor, with a gun. She was covered in blood.
During the initial stages of the investigation it appeared that the incident was a suicide, deputies said.
By Jan. 13, 2015, police said that there was no suicide. An autopsy and other investigative tecahniques showed that Robinson had not shot herself, police said, and officers charged McManus with murder.
“It is believed that McManus shot Robinson during a domestic dispute and attempted to make the incident appear to be a suicide,” police said in January 2015.
Robinson had been shot in the neck/shoulder area, her mother said.
“I knew it wasn’t a suicide from the beginning – my daughter hated guns,” said Simon, Robinson’s mother. “She had so much going for herself. He took it all.”
And now McManus is nowhere to be found. After initial questioning by police after Robinson was found dead, McManus took off and has not been seen by police or anyone else who wants him in jail since.
McManus’ flight cost the bonding company, too. Because McManus never showed up for court on the original murder and other charges from his 2012 arrest, Apex Bond company had to pay the court thousands of dollars.
Police have not said what evidence they have that turned the case into an alleged staged suicide murder. Yet law enforcement not just in Lancaster County, but both Carolinas and the federal government, have a manhunt on for Keishawn McManus.
“We are working with local, state and federal authorities to find Mr. McManus,” said Doug Barfield, spokesman for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. “We are looking hard for him.”
And now it is a year since Robinson died on the floor of her boyfriend’s bedroom. She bled to death and police say McManus did nothing – except wait for her to die, then stage the crime scene before vanishing.
Porscha Simon does not wait for Christmas anymore.
Said Simon: “There is no Christmas spirit when your daughter is dead and the killer is free.”
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065
Anyone with information about McManus can call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-3388 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or www.sccrimestoppers.com.