A judge denied bond Monday for one of the men charged in connection with the shooting death of Chester City Council member Odell Williams in November.
Quinton McClinton, 26, will remain in the Chester County Detention Center until his case goes to trial, Circuit Court Judge Brian Gibbons ruled. Gibbons said he understands that the state is working to prepare the case, but he said he is “inclined to set bond” at a later date if the case has not been resolved.
McClinton, who is charged with accessory to murder before the fact, has been in jail without bond since his arrest.
“It’s not right for a defendant who is presumed innocent until proven guilty to just sit in a jail without a trial date,” Gibbons said.
McClinton said nothing during the hearing until after Gibbons denied bond, at which point he turned around and said, “I love you,” to his mother, who was sitting in the courtroom.
Williams, 69, was fatally shot Nov. 4. A member of the City Council since 1997, he also was a retired Chester police officer.
Police and prosecutors say Williams was shot by one of five Roundtree Circle gang members he was following as they were en route to rob a rival gang. The shooter is accused of lying in wait for Williams after getting out of the gang’s truck during the chase, then shooting Williams in the head with an assault rifle in a fusillade of 17 shots.
Investigators have said McClinton concocted the plot to rob the rival gang, helped arm fellow gang members and was present when another gang member shot Williams.
Sixth Circuit Deputy Solicitor Julie Hall brought up McClinton’s “extensive” criminal history, including convictions for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and multiple drug charges.
Several of Williams’ family members were in court Monday. Latisha Williams said she wanted to “remind” the judge that McClinton was out on bond for a pending attempted murder charge when he was charged in connection with her father-in-law’s killing.
“How many times is he gonna get out on bond and continue to commit crimes?” she said. “This young man lives around the corner from my business. I was here before. He knows my face.”
Defense attorney Mike Duncan noted that some of his client’s co-defendants have been released on bond or house arrest.
“When Mr. McClinton has done something wrong, he has admitted it, he has (pleaded) guilty to some offenses in his past,” Duncan said. He asked for a “reasonable” bond so McClinton could get back to his mother and get a job while awaiting trial.
Hall said none of McClinton’s co-defendants have the criminal history he does and called him “a very big danger to the community.” She told the judge she hopes to try the case by January.
Defense lawyers have alleged that Williams shot at the suspects as many as three times before Williams was shot in the head, according to a confession from another of the co-defendants.
The case remains under investigation by the Chester County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division.
“I can’t imagine it would go past the first of the year,” Hall said when asked by Gibbons on the progress of the investigation.
Christopher Moore, 19, who police and prosecutors have identified as the shooter, remains jailed without bond. Derrick Dixon, 20, and Terrance Buchanan, 25, are free on bond.
DeAngelo Roseboro, 20, had been free on bond but was arrested in March for violating the curfew condition of his bond.