BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Members of the National Action Network say they are concerned about the James Loftis case.
Loftis is accused of shooting two men at his Goose Creek home before burying them and burning their bodies. He was released on $250,000 bond Tuesday. His attorney is planning to defend Loftis under SC’s Castle Doctrine, or “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Elder James Johnson, the SC President of National Action Network, spoke at a press conference in front of the Berkeley County Courthouse. “We feel that the nature of the crime, stand your ground should not be used.”
Organizers with the National Action Network are against the stand your ground defense in this case for several reasons. “It was previously stated that both men were shot execution style, there was no reported forced entry. It was previously stated that the victim was an acquaintance of Mr. Loftis. Both victims were unarmed.”
The National Action Network says they are sending a letter to SC Attorney General Alan Wilson, asking that he take a look at the case to ensure things are handled properly.
Geneva Lott, the aunt of Carlos Anderson, one of the two men Loftis is accused of killing, spoke after the press conference about the castle doctrine laws the defense attorney plans to use. “I don’t think it’s right. How could they do that?”
We spoke with defense attorney David Aylor, who is not involved in this case, to get more information about the law. “A person can defend themselves in a place they are legally standing, and of course in their own home.”
Loftis is accused of burying and burning the bodies of the victims. Aylor said that could be looked at as a completely separate part of the case. “The initial defense as to why it happened and what happened would be separate to what happens thereafter.”
Family members also disagreed with the bond. “For the judge to give $125,000 each, that’s just not right. I’m hurt.”
Aylor said regarding bond, “There’s two things they are looking at to bond. First is flight risk, and in this situation Mr. Loftis has a lot of ties to the community, he is a homeowner has a family here, so that does not look to be a concern.”
Aylor says the other is whether he is a danger to the community. He credits Loftis’ minimal criminal record with helping him receive bond.
At this point, the charges in this case were not based on the stand your ground laws. National Action Network and family members say they want to make sure it stays that way.