Crime

Defendants in Chester councilman’s slaying get bond

A judge on Friday granted bond for two defendants charged in the 2014 slaying of Chester City Councilman Odell Williams; however, their bonds will not take effect for 90 days.

Circuit Court Judge Thomas Russo granted bond for Christopher Moore, 19, and Quinton McClinton, 27, setting Moore’s bond at $50,000 and McClinton’s at $30,000.

Moore is charged with murder in the Nov. 4, 2014, shooting death of Williams, 69. McClinton and three other co-defendants are charged as accessories.

Moore’s case went to trial last week, but the jury could not reach a verdict, forcing a mistrial.

Prosecutors said during Friday’s hearing that they plan to retry Moore’s case within 90 days, and that the cases of his co-defendants hinge mainly on the outcome of Moore’s trial.

“If Mr. Moore does not get convicted of murder, then (McClinton’s) charge goes away,” Deputy Solicitor Julie Hall said.

McClinton and Moore last had bond hearings in October and December, and their attorneys noted Friday that the judge ruled then that they may be entitled to bond if their cases weren’t resolved in six months.

McClinton, whose criminal record dates to 2001, was out on bond for attempted murder at the time of Williams’ shooting, Hall said.

That fact concerned Russo, but he ultimately set bond for McClinton and Moore. Both men will be under GPS monitoring and house arrest with a curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and they cannot have contact with Williams’ family.

Williams’ two daughters spoke at one of the bond hearings Friday and told Russo they fear for their safety if either suspect is released.

Williams was shot in the head while chasing a pickup carrying the five co-defendants, and reportedly driven by McClinton, the night of Nov. 4, 2014. He crashed his burgundy Cadillac coupe into a home on Roundtree Circle, and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Prosecutors have said Moore was waiting at the entrance to Roundtree Circle and ambushed the councilman and retired police officer, who had been pursuing the truck across town, as he turned onto the horseshoe-shaped street.

Defense lawyers argued Moore shot Williams in self-defense after Williams fired multiple gunshots at the truck while chasing it across town.

Three of the co-defendants and Moore testified last week that they had planned to rob a home on Holmes Road in Chester the night of the shooting. The robbery attempt fell through because the intended target wasn’t home, according to testimony, and the men were in the process of leaving when Williams began following them on Featherstone Road.

“The state does intend, based on the testimony elicited during that trial, to submit direct indictments for conspiracy to commit armed robbery,” Hall said. “Because we’ve got everybody under oath now saying that’s exactly what they intended to do.”

Prosecutors declined to say in court Friday when exactly they planned to retry Moore’s case. It’s not clear where the case will be retried, but 6th Circuit Solicitor Randy Newman has said it will not be in Chester County.

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala

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