A judge denied bond Tuesday to the man charged in the killing of a South Pointe High School rising senior in a tense courtroom packed with police and families of the deceased and accused.
Demetric Leon Houze, 25, is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in the Sunday night shooting death of Quantavious “Quan” Torbit, 17.
Torbit, a basketball player attending summer school, was shot and killed after a fight between two girls that began on Facebook. Dozens of people met at a Rock Hill park for the fight between the girls that escalated into gunfire, police said.
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Houze said little Tuesday in his first court appearance since being charged Monday with killing Torbit. Houze said in court he is on five years’ probation for a 2015 felony assault conviction. He also has convictions for drugs and weapons, court records show.
“I want a bond so I can get out and work, and get an attorney -- for my family’s sake,” Houze said in court.
Typically, only a circuit court judge can set bond for offenses, such as murder, that carry 30 years or more in prison if convicted.
However, Rock Hill Municipal Court Judge Peter Lenzi officially denied bond to Houze, saying he has concerns about Houze showing up for court and “the safety of the community” after the public shooting.
Lenzi said he has to take the “seriousness of the charge” of murder into account and the potential someone charged with such a crime “could run.”
Two members of Houze’s family were in court, but did not speak. They sat directly across the courtroom from Torbit’s grieving family, with Houze in between. Officers were stationed between all sides and ringed the courtroom.
Houze looked briefly at members of Torbit’s family in court, but did not speak to them.
Sitting among the victim’s family was the second person charged in the incident, Timothy M. Holley, 20. Holley was released on bond Monday, after being charged by Rock Hill police with discharging a firearm inside the city limits and unlawful carrying of a weapon for an alleged role in the incident.
Torbit and Holley have the same address, but officers did not know the relationship between them, said Rock Hill Police Department Capt. Brent Allmon.
Torbit’s family declined to comment after court. However, one person with Torbit’s family expressed outrage in court at Houze asking the judge for bond.
A woman, 20, whose name has not been released, was hit by a stray bullet during the incident, police said. A bullet also went through a neighbor’s home about 6:15 p.m. Sunday near a city park a block from a police substation.
The case remains under investigation, Allmon said after court.
A second shooting in Rock Hill later Sunday left one man critically wounded. Police said the incidents are not connected.