STATE HOUSE: Bill would make it tougher for repeat offenders to be released from jail

Posted by ADAM BEAM on January 23, 2014 

Julie Webster, with a photo of her slain brother in front of her, testifies before the House Judiciary Criminal Laws subcommittee about bond reform on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2014. Webster's brother, Steven Fowler, was killed in a Papa John's parking lot off of Two Notch Road in 2011. David Watson, who, who later pleaded guilty to the murder, had been released on bond four times prior to the shooting.


— South Carolina has thousands of laws, and Julie Webster never gave them much thought -- until June 3, 2011.

That was the day her 82-year-old father struggled to tell her that her 35-year-old brother, Steven Fowler, had been shot and killed in a Papa John’s parking lot off of Two Notch Road. That was the day Webster “totally lost it” in front of her teenage children.

The man who arrested for killing her brother -- David Watson, who pleadead guilty in 2012 -- had been arrested and released on bond four times over nine months. He even appeared in court the day of the shooting.

Thursday, Webster -- along with police chiefs, bail bondsmen and victim advocates -- urged a House subcommittee to pass S.19, which would make it tougher for people arrested for multiple violent crimes to be released while awaiting trial.

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