Murder victim's mother pleads for alleged killer to stay in jai - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Murder victim's mother pleads for alleged killer to stay in jail

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Derrick McKinley was released from jail on Friday. Derrick McKinley was released from jail on Friday.
CHARLESTON, SC -

Just minutes after a judge ruled that Derrick McKinley could be released from jail and placed on house arrest, the family of the man McKinley is accused of killing were outraged.

About 15 members of Da'Shawn Zellars' family attended the hearing Friday afternoon. According to police, McKinley allegedly shot and killed Zellars as the two were fixing a car in July.

Witnesses told police the two began arguing when the shots were fired. McKinley was given a bond for the murder and weapons charges, but he was arrested again in October at the Ashley Shore apartments in North Charleston.

Zellars mother, Cannie, said she believes McKinley was trying to kill members of her family.

"He was out looking for the witnesses," Zellars said. "Have family on Ashley Shores, so he was out trying to get the witnesses for my son's case."

After being arrested, McKinley's bond was revoked. After his attorney argued that he may not have been in violation of his bond, the judge ruled that he could be released and placed under house arrest.

That had the family furious.

"They're letting back out on the streets to kill somebody else," Zellars said. "Our family life is in danger. Evidently the system is so messed up, they let him back out again."

9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlet Wilson said her office opposed McKinley's release.

The family said they wished the murder suspect would remain behind bars. McKinley has an extensive rap sheet with close to 25 charges. However, all but one of the charges has been dismissed.

The murder victim's mother said the court is keeping the suspect from learning an important lesson.

"He's back out again, less than two months," she said. "What lesson did he learn? he hasn't learned anything because they're letting him in and letting him back out. There's no lesson learned."

News 2 asked McKinley's attorney for an interview, but our requests were denied.

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