Bond denied for suspect in Laurens Street shooting death in Aiken


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — Just after 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 17, Dae’kwon Simmons was sworn in and then the case on if he would receive bond in connection to the fatal shooting of Larry Swearingen got underway.

“Bond was initially denied by a magistrate on August 13,” the prosecution said. “The defense made this motion subsequent to that,” she added.

The incident happened on Laurens Street in the afternoon on August 6. Investigators say the incident came following a verbal altercation. Authorities were able to get surveillance video to pinpoint Simmons. “The defendant, another man, and two females are walking in the opposite direction. When the two groups passed each other, words were exchanged. According to witnesses, the 14-year-old male that was with the defendant bumped into Mrs. Swearingen,” the prosecution added.

Then he’s seen with a handgun. “At that point, Mr. Swearingen, his wife, and his 9-year-old daughter have their backs to the defendant and are walking off. The defendant walks back road, on-to the sidewalk, raises his gun and shoots,” she said. Then it jams and officials said Simmons cleared the jam and then raises the gun again this time shooting three times.

Because of his ties to the area, Judge Courtney Clyburn-Pope didn’t feel he was a flight risk. “However based on the charges alone, I do believe he’s a danger to the community,” she said. “This is a fairly new charge. He’s not been incarcerated for that long of a time. I’m going to deny bond at this time,” she added.

Shawn tried to get comments from Swearingen’s family but they were whisked away. Friends outside of the Aiken Judicial Building Thursday morning declined to give any comments out of respect for the family.

But others in the community, tell Shawn that the violence has to stop. “Matter of fact, I was leaving the store when it actually happened maybe it wasn’t even ten minutes after I left that store and it’s sad and it’s really not about race,” Sable Kirkland said.”It’s time to make a change. You gotta start with yourself,” she added.

“We having the same problems in Georgia too but best believe things are going to get better in our community as we grow stronger,” Justin Kraft said. “So guys, just stick together and things will get better. You’ll see a difference in the future,” he added.

Meanwhile, the judge also says she will allow Dae’kwon Simmons to come back in about four months to ask for bond again if there’s no resolution in this case.

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