Video of Press Conference

Local and state NAACP officials held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the lengthy amount of time that some defendants in Iredell County spend in jail awaiting trial. More than three dozens individuals have been awaiting trial for more than a year.

Posted by Iredell Free News on Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Statesville Branch NAACP president: ‘Our role is to shed light on this growing issue of concern.’ 

STORY BY MIKE FUHRMAN
PHOTOS BY MORGAN HOOKS

State and local NAACP officials publicly criticized District Attorney Sarah Kirkman on Wednesday for failing to meet with them to discuss the long periods of time that many individuals charged with crimes spend in jail awaiting trial in Iredell County.

“Our role is to shed light on this growing issue of concern,” Statesville Branch NAACP President Todd Scott said during a press conference held in the shadows of the new $26 million Iredell County Detention Center expansion.

Amos McClorey, the District 3 NAACP state director, speaks to the crowd that gathered outside the Iredell County Detention Center.

Scott and Amos McClorey, the District 3 NAACP state director, raised concerns about the bond system, the commitment and effectiveness of court-appointed attorneys, the district attorney’s management of the criminal docket and the availability of judges for trial in Iredell County.

All of those factors, they said, have contributed to an unacceptable system that keeps men and women who have not been convicted of a crime in jail for an unacceptable amount of time.

Thirty-eight people have been held in the jail for more than 365 days, according to records provided by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. Among those 38 people, 29 are African-American.

Samuel Tyrone Young currently holds the distinction of being jailed the longest while awaiting trial. He has been behind bars for 1,524 days while awaiting trial on numerous felony charges, including first-degree rape and statutory rape.

“Fifteen-hundred days and not one day in court is not the answer,” Scott told the small crowd that attended the early afternoon press conference. “That is costing taxpayers every day. … Y’all should be outraged.”

Kirkman, Scott and McClorey said, has not been willing to sit down with NAACP officials in person to discuss their concerns and possible remedies.

Scott wrote to the district attorney on June 5 to request a meeting to discuss more than a half dozen individuals whose families are concerned about their long-term confinement. Although Kirkman responded by email, the NAACP president said the matter warrants a face-to-face discussion.

“You are an elected official,” he said. “That is disrespectful.”

McClorey, who is a member of the Cabarrus County Branch NAACP, said Kirkman should be held accountable for the situation. Defendants who are charged with nonviolent offenses should have affordable bonds so they can work and support their families while awaiting trial.

“We say, ‘Vote her out of office,’ ” he told the crowd. “Enough is enough.”

Kirkman, who is running unopposed in the November election, issued a statement in response to the criticism.

“Our justice system provides safeguards for Due Process,” she said. “Defendants are afforded the opportunity to have court-appointed attorneys represent them, and those attorneys, as well as privately retained attorneys, are able to make motions regarding bond, probable cause and speedy trial. As for those who are in custody awaiting trial, the District Attorney does not set their bonds; bonds are set by a judicial official – either a magistrate, a District Court Judge or a Superior Court Judge – and only judicial officials may modify bond amounts.”

Read Kirkman’s entire statement: HERE

Near the end of the press conference, which attracted a crew from WBTV in Charlotte, Scott read off the number of days that nearly 20 individuals have been jailed without trial:

“Fifteen-hundred days, 1,471 days, 1,073 days, 1,067 days, 946 days, 895 days, 784 days, 768 days, 762 days, 736 days, 735 days, 713 days, 688 days, 676 days, 664 days, 663 days, 658 days, 565 days and it goes on,” he said.

“Imagine that was your kid. What if they were innocent?”

Statesville Branch NAACP President Todd Scott speaks during Wednesday’s press conference.


Jailed for More than a Year

The following individuals have been held in the Iredell County Detention Center for more than one year while awaiting trial:

Samuel Tyrone Young 
Days in Custody: 1,524
Charges: Numerous felony charges, including first-degree rape and statutory rape


Joseph Nicholas Shaver
Days in Custody: 1,471
Charges: Numerous counts of first-degree sex offense against a child and indecent liberties with children


Jamel Thurston Conner
Days in Custody: 1,073
Charges: Kidnapping, robbery, assault, possess weapon of mass destruction, first-degree sex offense


Brentley Jason Byers
Days in Custody: 1,067
Charges: Statutory rape of child by an adult, statutory sex offense of child by an adult, intentional child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury


Thomas Jeffrey Wilson
Days in Custody: 946
Charges: Two counts statutory sex offense with a child by an adult, two counts of indecent liberties with children, and first-degree sex offense


Fredrick Anthony Cherry
Days in Custody: 895
Charges: Assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill, robbery, two counts of first-degree murder, robbery with dangerous weapon, breaking or entering, possession of schedule VI controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule VI controlled substance


Zachary Scott O’dor
Days in Custody: 784
Charges: First-degree sex offense, two counts of indecent liberties with children


Antwon Deo Taylor
Days in Custody: 768
Charges: Conspiracy and murder


Brenda Kaylee Gabrielle
Days in Custody: 762
Charges: True bill


Marquis O’bryan Peet
Days in Custody: 736
Charges: First-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon


Anthony Jamall Caldwell
Days in Custody: 736
Charges: First-degree murder, possession of a schedule I controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, possession of a stolen firearm


Anagee Nasere Chambers
Days in Custody: 736
Charges: Murder


Katisha Maria Bowman
Days in Custody: 736
Charges: Accessory after the fact


Rick Rashond Chambers
Days in Custody: 736
Charges: Murder, assault inflicting serious injury to LEO, disorderly conduct, rioting


Kevin Dontae Turner
Days in Custody: 736
Charges: Murder, assault on officer, resist, delay obstruct an officer


Jatavius Raheem Bowman
Days in Custody: 736
Charges: Murder


Keith Eugene Lackey Jr.
Days in Custody: 735
Charges: Attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, assault with a firearm on law enforcement officer


Geneva Moneek Cladwell
Days in Custody: 713
Charges: Three counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, trafficking heroin


James Lattimore Springer
Days in Custody: 688
Charges: Attempted first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, possession of a firearm by a felon, assault on a female


Christopher Maurice Murphy
Days in Custody: 676
Charges: Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, first-degree burglary, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon


Anthony Eugene Cottingham
Days in Custody: 664
Charges: Trafficking heroin, trafficking cocaine, possession of schedule VI controlled substance with intent to manufacture, possession of a firearm by a felon


Coy Milton Mcdaniel
Days in Custody: 663
Charges: First-degree rape, numerous counts of indecent liberties with children, and numerous counts of first-degree sexual offense (victim under 13)


Mario Alberto Chow
Days in Custody: 658
Charges: Two counts of indecent liberties with children, first-degree sexual offense (victim under 13)


Deonte Mysia Clark
Days in Custody: 595
Charges: Accessory after the fact


Jericho Montrell Neal
Days in Custody: 565
Charges: Attempted second-degree forcible rape


Gercobe Arnell McClain
Days in Custody: 516
Charges: Two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, injury to personal property and possession of a weapon by a felon


Jeremy Chauncy Teasley
Days in Custody: 491
Charges: Crime against nature, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, first-degree sex offense and sexual battery


Okiera Donnell Myers
Days in Custody: 473
Charges: Murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, and possession of a firearm by a felon


Shawn Keith Harris
Days in Custody: 473
Charges: Possession of a schedule II controlled substance


Kima Sharell Ivey
Days in Custody: 459
Charges: Multiple counts of statutory sex offense with a child (15 and under) and indecent liberties with children


Erik Jerard Ramsey
Days in Custody: 449
Charges: Multiple counts of robbery with a firearm or dangerous weapon


Kenneth Jamal Davis
Days in Custody: 447
Charges: Larceny of a motor vehicle, flee/elude arrest, and resist, delay or obstruct a public officer


Tommy Russell Pierce
Days in Custody: 441
Charges: Multiple counts of first-degree statutory rape


Tony John Young
Days in Custody: 440
Charges: First-degree murder


Eyian Valentine Robotham
Days in Custody: 389
Charges: Trafficking cocaine and maintaining a dwelling or vehicle for controlled substances


James Edward Emanuel
Days in Custody: 388
Charges: Driving while impaired, true bill


Azontay Vontavius Sherrill
Days in Custody: 366
Charges: Murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and conspiracy


Quinton Queshon Kasey
Days in Custody: 366
Charges: Murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and conspiracy

3 thoughts on “NAACP officials criticize district attorney for system that keeps defendants in jail for more than a year while awaiting trial

  1. Brian Summers says:

    So let me get this straight!! So the priority is Child Molesters, Rapist, and Murders. But you are silent on Economic investment, priority in Education for the most vulnerable, A living wage, or advocate for a return to traditions that uplift standards in behavior before a criminal ever commits a crime. It is a shame you never once mentioned the countless victims of Child Abuse, Molesters, Drug Dealers, Rapist, Murders, call a press conference on the Slum Housing, this a sick time in our country and the oldest Civil Rights Group is advocating for the criminal and not the victim.

  2. Ok, when I started reading this, I said “WoW” that is really bad. But you know I get on down in the article and see nothing but, Violent and despicable crimes. Really? These are the people you want to be out on bond. No thank you. Where is the compassion for the victims in these crimes? These men and women made a choice and I agree it is a long time, but they WILL get their day in court. I am sure time served will be taken off their sentence. For those who would be angry at what I have said, yes I have been a family member waiting for a court date to roll around. It is aggravating, but these charges aren’t Jaywalking or shoplifting.

  3. Jill Holdsclaw-Gray says:

    A defendant in a criminal case has a right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A violation of the speedy trial rule means that any conviction and sentence must be wiped out, and the charges must be dismissed if the case has not reached trial.

Comments are closed.