74
      Tuesday
      89 / 71
      Wednesday
      90 / 73
      Thursday
      93 / 72

      Five Points shooting Victims family questions why suspect wasn't in jail

      <font size="2">Strom points out Smiths </font><a href="/uploadedFiles/wach/News/Stories/Michael%20Smith%20arrest%20record.pdf"> <font size="2">arrest records</font> </a><font size="2"> show two first degree burglaries</font>

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- 18 year old Martha Childress has been left paralyzed after she was struck by a bullet in Columbia's Five Points early Sunday Morning.

      "The bullet went in the back side of her shoulder, and went down through her lung, through her kidney, and through her liver, and then severed her spinal cord, and lodged in her spinal column," said the victims Uncle Jim Carpenter.

      Investigators say the USC student was waiting for a cab around 2:30 Sunday morning.

      That's when police say 20 year old Michael Smith fired at a group of men, missing his target and hitting Childress.

      "She's angry, the whole family is angry about several things. One of which is why that guy was out walking the streets in the first place," adds Carpenter.

      "It certainly appears that this guy should've had more eyes on him," said Former US Attorney Pete Strom.

      Strom argues Smith never should have been on the street.

      A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department Of Corrections says Smith was in prison for a violation of probation in April of last year.

      Smith was admitted under the youthful offender act program and served ten months in prison.

      Strom points out Smiths arrest records (click on the link to view his arrest records) show two first degree burglaries, The first in 2010 and another in 2011 both were pled down to second degree burglaries.

      Records show after his release Smith was arrested on several other charges while on probation including Grand larceny and Obstruction of Justice.

      Smith pled Guilty to Grand Larceny and the solicitors office dropped the obstruction of justice charge.

      Strom believes cases like these are a good example of why the state needs better systems in place to monitor offenders on probation or parole and stricter laws for young repeat offenders.

      "We've got a child laying in a hospital bed fighting for her life and we're not sure exactly if somebody dropped the ball," concludes Strom.