Authorities offer 5-digit reward for info leading to arrest of SC fugitive
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - A new reward is being offered for information that leads to the capture of a convicted killer whose early release from prison was overturned.
Jeriod Price, 43, is wanted as a fugitive after the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered him to return to custody to serve the remainder of a 35-year sentence in the killing of Charleston native Carl “Dash” Smalls Jr. at a party at a Columbia nightclub in 2002.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday morning a $30,000 for information that leads to Price’s capture and return to prison.
Former Richland County Judge Casey Manning, who has since retired, signed an order in December that reduced Price’s sentence to 19 years. He then sealed that order.
Price was released after serving 19 years of that 35-year sentence in March. Attorney General Alan Wilson asked the state Supreme Court to review the manner in which the court order was issued, arguing the lower court violated proper procedure. Price’s attorney, Rep. Todd Rutherford, said the early release was granted because Price assisted the state corrections department by alerting them to the escape of another inmate and also assisted detention officers during prison fights, potentially saving lives.
Rutherford said he asked the motion be kept secret to protect Price’s safety both inside the prison and after his release, fearing he would be attacked for cooperating with authorities.
Wilson argued to the state’s Supreme Court the release was done without properly notifying the victim’s family and without a proper hearing. He told the court the state failed in this process.
After hearing oral arguments, the high court overturned the early release in a 3-2 vote in late April.
The day after the Supreme Court decision, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott offered a $5,000 reward, saying that since he had not surrendered himself to authorities, he was then considered a fugitive.
Price’s attorney, Rep. Todd Rutherford, held a news conference on April 28, urging Price to turn himself in. He said it became clear to him that at the time, he might not have known there was a warrant for his arrest.
“So I want to make it clear that Mr. Price, if he sees this, that my legal advice is that he needs to turn himself in,” Rutherford said. “Although Mr. Price did nothing to deserve this — he was released legally from jail; he did not escape; he walked out with a judge’s order.”
Price is 5-feet, 10-inches tall, weighs an estimated 240 pounds and is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who has information on his whereabouts is asked to contact SLED at 866-472-8477 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Regarding an inconsistency in the spelling of Price’s first name, SLED spokesperson Renee Wunderlich said Wednesday that it is correctly spelled “Jeriod,” but that some have spelled his name as Jeroid, which she said is an alias.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.