Columbia, SC — The Sept. 25 article in The State (“Did lowered bond free man to kill?”) informed us that Circuit Court Judge Alison Lee had lowered the bond in February for Dequan Vereen from $175,000 to $50,000. That allowed him to be released him from jail after he and two other men got into a gun battle with a store clerk; Vereen was trying to kill the clerk, but her aim was better.
Then Vereen and accomplice Tevin Richardson were charged with the Sept. 19 murder of Robert Jewell. Judge Lee responded to attorney Jonathan Chaplin’s request to reduce Vereen’s bond because “he is not a threat to the community.” Golly, wonder why Chaplin could not be reached for comment?
It wasn’t the first such instance. In January, Judge Lee lowered the bond for Lorenzo Young from $240,000 to $50,000 despite the fact that he was facing a variety of violent charges; he was one of three men charged in the July 1 slaying of bagel baker Kelly Hunnewell.
In the article, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott sounded frustrated with the court system, noting that someone is now dead because Vereen was let out of prison. Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson wanted to make it clear he was not criticizing Judge Lee. I can. Judge Lee is not deserving of a federal judgeship and, in fact, should be removed the state court.