Release conditions for one suspect in a nonfatal Christmas Day shooting at a Broad Street convenience store include a $50,000 surety bond, ankle monitor and curfew, according to a magistrate judge.
Faquanta Benjamin, 17, was joined in the …
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Faquanta Benjamin, 17, was joined in the courtroom at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center by his parents during a first appearance hearing on Thursday afternoon. The victim's sister was also present and stood on the opposite side of the courtroom from the defendant's parents.
Before the hearing started, judge Fred Gordon allowed Benjamin's father to speak about his son.
"He's a good kid," he said.
He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, Benjamin's father said.
He said his son, a Lakewood High School student participating in JROTC, plans to go into the military when he finishes school.
"I'm sorry for what happened," the father said.
Sgt. Wayne DuBose with Sumter County Sheriff's Office said according to the investigation so far, it appears Benjamin and a co-defendant walked into the El Cheapo at 4756 Broad St. and had a verbal altercation with another customer.
The altercation escalated outside, he said, and the co-defendant, who is still at large, pulled out a weapon and shot the 20-year-old victim in the lower body. Benjamin and the other suspect then fled the area.
Ken Bell, public information officer for the sheriff's office, said the victim is in serious but non-life-threatening condition. His sister said he lost feeling in one of his legs, he said.
DuBose told the judge Benjamin turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday.
He said the sheriff's office requests that Benjamin's bond be set at $50,000, with the condition that he be required to wear a GPS monitoring device upon release and have no contact with the victim and his family.
Gordon said he would not deny Benjamin bond and agreed to the sheriff's office's request adding a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
After hearing the conditions of his bond, Benjamin asked if he could be released that day. Gordon said it would be up to his parents.
Bell said Benjamin's case should be a lesson for other youths that their actions could result in serious charges.
The sheriff's office is still looking for the second suspect.
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