COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Supreme Court will decide whether a convicted killer who was released from prison early on an “illegal and secret order” must return to custody.

Jeroid Price was found guilty in 2003 and sentenced to 35 years in prison by Judge Reginald Lloyd for killing Lowcountry native Carl Smalls during a shooting at a Columbia nightclub a year prior.

But he was released in mid-March after an order was signed by Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning in December 2022.

State law says a person must serve 30 years to life for murder and is not eligible for any credit that would reduce the sentence below the mandatory minimum of 30 years.

Attorney General Alan Wilson and other authorities are calling on the state Supreme Court to find the order reducing Price’s sentence as void and to sign a bench warrant ordering his immediate pick-up and arrest to complete his 35-year sentence.

Officials say the victims were not notified of any hearing that would have affected Price’s sentence in this case.

Specifically, Solicitor Byron Gipson said an official motion to reduce Price’s sentence was never filed because an order was issued before a motion could be filed. No formal hearing took place where victims could voice their position.

The Court is expected to hear the case at noon on Wednesday.