The bond hearing for a Hilton Head Island teenager accused of shooting and killing Dominique Williams at an island beach park was waived on Thursday and his attorney asked a Circuit Court judge to issue a an injunction preventing photos taken by an Island Packet photographer of his client from being used.
John Duncan, now 17, was charged as an adult with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime after he allegedly shot 17-year-old Williams in the face at Coligny Beach Park on July 19, 2015.
On Nov. 16, Family Court Judge Pete Fuge granted a motion filed by the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office to charge Duncan as an adult after the teen spent over a year in custody at the juvenile detention center in Columbia.
He was transferred to the Beaufort County Detention Center on Nov. 18 and remains in custody, according to the jail’s website.
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A hearing for his case was scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Beaufort County Courthouse and an Island Packet photographer was in attendance along with a reporter. Photographers and videographers must receive prior approval from the judge to shoot in a courtroom, and Judge Carmen Mullen had approved the photographer’s request.
Before the hearing began, Duncan was brought out to sit next to Mullen’s bench. During that time, the photographer started taking photographs, drawing an objection from Duncan’s attorney, Jared Newman.
When Mullen entered the courtroom and the hearing began, Newman said Duncan was waiving his presence at the hearing and then requested that the hearing be waived until a later date.
Mullen approved the request.
Then, Newman asked the court to issue a temporary injunction that the photos the Packet photographer had taken not be used.
Newman said his client should not have been brought into the courtroom before the proceedings began and that it had been a mistake.
Mullen did not issue a ruling on whether the photos could be used but informed Newman that she had consented to the Packet’s presence with cameras in the courtroom.
When called by an Island Packet reporter after the hearing, Newman said plans to waive the hearing for the time being had already been in place and was not done in reaction to media presence.