Lexington, SC - As a local attorney and new legal analyst for the South–West Lexington Ledger, Dayne's goal is to provide the citizens of Lexington County with a greater knowledge of the law and legal procedure related to current events. Specifically, he hopes to provide an in-depth legal perspective and insight into the articles posted on the Lexington Ledger.
As reported earlier this week, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department arrested Joseph Mills on two counts of murder for fatally shooting two men at the Frayed Knot Bar and Grill in Chapin. Although Mills appeared before a Magistrate Judge on Monday, the Magistrate could not set or deny bail on the murder charges. Instead, the Magistrate would have explained to Mills the nature of the charges against him, his potential sentence, the date of his first appearance, and his constitutional right to remain silent and to have a lawyer represent him.
Mills must appear before a Circuit Court Judge to determine whether bail is appropriate. He did this later on Monday afternoon. South Carolina law generally requires that a person have a bond hearing within twenty-four (24) hours of arrest. However, this requirement does not apply to a person charged with murder because of the potential life sentence. The South Carolina Constitution specifically allows for a Circuit Court judge to deny bail when a person is charged with an offense that is punishable by life imprisonment. In the case of Mills, the judge denied his request for bond.
South Carolina law defines murder as the killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied. “Malice” is the hatred, ill-will, or hostility toward another person. The word “aforethought” requires that malice must exist in the mind of the defendant just before and at the time the act was committed. In other words, a defendant charged with murder must have either had (1) the intent to kill, (2) the intent to inflict great bodily harm, (3) the extreme reckless indifference to the value of human life, or (4) the intent to commit a felony when a person is killed.
If convicted of the murders, Mills must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of thirty (30) years (without the possibility of parole) to life imprisonment on each charge. "Life imprisonment" in South Carolina means until death of the person.
Disclaimer: Due process requires that everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the law. The information in this article is only for general information and does not constitute legal advice. You should never act on general legal information without seeking the advice of an attorney licensed in South Carolina.
Dayne Phillips can be reached at: The Michael Jeffcoat Firm, phone (803) 808-9600 or at 4723-A Sunset Boulevard, Lexington, SC 29072. His email is CarolinaDefenseLawyers.com.
Disclaimer: The referenced attorney’s goal is to provide the citizens of Lexington County with a greater knowledge of the law and legal procedure related to current events reported on by the South-West Lexington Ledger. Due process requires that everyone charged with a criminal offense in the United States is presumed innocent until proven guilty according to the law. The information in this article is only for general information and does not constitute legal advice. You should never act on general legal information without seeking the advice of an attorney licensed in South Carolina.
The publication of this information: (1) is only for general information purposes; (2) does not constitute legal advice; (3) is not intended to solicit legal representation; and (4) does not create an attorney-client relationship. This information is also not intended to compare the referenced attorney to the services of any other law firm or lawyer or to imply any specialization in an area of law. Any prior result or award received by the referenced attorney should not be construed in any way as a guarantee of future results and does not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients. The publication of this information is not intended to constitute the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which the referenced attorney is not licensed to practice, nor is it intended to solicit legal representation of anyone in any such jurisdiction.
The Editor included in the article that Mills appeared before a Circuit Court Judge on Mondayafternoon and that his bond was denied. Mills is being held without bond until he is scheduled to appear before a Circuit Court Judge in General Sessions Court.