Joi Janae Hill granted 75k bond; no update on son's bond status

UPDATED FROM JUNE 16 BOND HEARING STORY

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**UPDATED STORY***

Joi Janae Hill was granted a $75,000 surety bond with GPS monitoring. This requires her to have a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 6am and be at home during these hours. She is also to have no contact with the victim’s family. Ms. Hill is also not to violate any Federal, State or Local laws.

At the time of print no information was available on the status of Jaquez Daquel Hill's  bond request.

*Previous story from June 16 bond hearing*
According to a Clarendon County Sheriffs office press release on June 9th 2021, the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division made three arrests for the murder of Bryant Bowman which occurred on the early hours of June 6th. The incident took place at 11166 Bethel Hwy in the Paxville Community of Clarendon County. Thirty Eight year old Joi Janae Hill and her 22 year old son Jaquez Daquel Hill, are both charged with Murder and Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime, while Shanaya Jonnale Larkins, age 33, is charged with Accessory After the Fact to Murder.

On Friday June 11th, Attorney Jack Furse with Kent Law Firm in Manning filed a motion on behalf of Joi Hill for an emergency Bond Hearing in front of a Circuit Court Judge. The motion stated there was no probable cause for the warrant to be issued and served. According to the motion, the arrest warrant affidavit merely alleges that Ms. Hill was in some form of an altercation with the victim. At some point the witness heard the sound of gunshots being fired and multiple people, including Ms. Hill, were seen running away from the area where the incident occurred. The original arrest warrants listed Joi Hill as the shooter. On Monday June 14th, the warrants were amended to name Jaquez Hill as the shooter.

The emergency bond hearings were held on Wednesday June 16th in front of Circuit Court Judge R. Ferrell Cothran for both Joi Hill and Jaquez D. Hill, who is represented by Clarendon County Public Defender Scott Robinson. The hearing was held in Kingstree at the Williamsburg County Courthouse.

In her presentation of facts, Third Circuit Assistant Solicitor Darla Pierce opened by giving the court the background of the case and both the original and amended warrants for Joi Hill. Pierce informed the court that the initial warrant listed Ms. Hill as the shooter, but that was recently amended to remove her as the shooter. She stated that the State feels that Ms. Hill is a flight risk, having family that lives outside of Clarendon County and is a danger to the Clarendon County community. Pierce backed up this argument stating that Ms. Hill has a prior criminal record, but only listed magistrate level offenses. Pierce also described Ms. Hill as “mouthy” and said that Ms. Hill has been heard on multiple accounts stating that “her son would do anything for her.”

Pierce alleged that Ms. Hill was at a public night club the night of the incident. The club closed around 3AM and according to the state the patrons from the public club then migrated to the private club. Mr. Bowman was asked to let the patrons know the club was denying entrance to anyone else.

According to the state, witnesses then heard Ms. Hill get into a verbal disagreement with Mr. Bowman. They then alleged that Ms. Hill called her son and asked him to “bring her her piece”. Allegedly, Mr. Hill arrived on the scene, at some point, before seven to eight shots were fired at Mr. Bowman and he fell to the ground. According to the state, Mr. Hill, Ms. Hill and Ms. Larkins were then seen fleeing the scene.

Furse opened his argument for bond telling the court that Ms. Hill is not a flight risk as she graduated from Scott’s Branch High School in Summerton then attended Morris College where she became pregnant with her first child. Furse said Ms. Hill is a mother of three children and was working at Meritor in Clarendon County at the time of her arrest. He informed the court that she has strong ties to the community and would be living with her father and youngest child if bond was to be granted. Furse stated that Hill’s minimal criminal history does not include any violence that would make her a danger to the community.

Furse told the Court that Ms. Hill was given a polygraph by Forensic Interviewing and Consulting Services, LLC out of Camden. A passing score on a polygraph is three, that Ms. Hill with a score of 33 and “in fact passed with flying colors”. Ms. Pierce argued that not only was the polygraph issued by Kent Law Firm, not the State, but polygraphs are not admissible in a court of law and therefore it was irrelevant to the current bond hearing. Furse then defended the polygraph results stating that the polygrapher was Tim Stevenson , one of the most reputable in the state of South Carolina and that Ms. Hill’s was “ the best score Stevenson had seen in over a decade”. Furse asked for Ms. Hill to be released on a Personal Recognizance bond concluding, “I truly believe an innocent woman is sitting in our county jail today; and we are looking forward to proving that fact.”

Judge Cothran then presided over a Bond Hearing for Jaquez Daquel Hill, who is charged with Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime. His attorney Scott Robinson asked that Pierce recap the alleged facts against Mr. Hill since his client had not been in the court room to hear the previous arguments and history. Pierce recapped the alleged crime and added this time that there was no evidence that Mr. Bowman was armed at the time the murder occurred.

Robinson stated that Mr. Hill was in the same situation as Ms. Hill as far as his warrants being amended. Robinson then asked about the delay in the amended warrants. He posed the question why were the warrants amended after Furse made his motion on June 14th.

Pierce stated to the court that Mr. Hill is a flight risk and danger to the Clarendon Community.
Robinson told the court that Mr. Hill is engaged with a child on the way. Mr. Hill has no criminal record but does have pending drug charges. Robinson explained that Mr. Hill completely denies any involvement in the murder of Bowman and that he has agreed to a state issued polygraph. Robinson asked for bond with a GPS monitoring device for Mr. Hill. Robinson echoed much of Ms. Hill’s argument that the State did not appear to have much more than rumors with little tangible evidence at this time and said it was unfair for Mr. Hill to sit in jail as the State collects evidence.

The day the arrests warrants were issued both Mr. and Ms. Hill turned themselves in to law enforcement with no further incident.

Manninglive will update as soon as information becomes available.

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