Fatal Campground Stabbing Suspect Freed on Bond

October 19, 2011 by   - () Comments Off on Fatal Campground Stabbing Suspect Freed on Bond

Family members of a North Carolina teen, who was killed while on vacation in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area this summer, are outraged that an 18-year-old man charged in the stabbing death has been released on bond.

Adam Taylor Dwiggins, 18, of Shelby, N.C., was released Oct. 12 on $100,000 bail from J. Reuben Long Detention Center, according to jail records, the Myrtle Beach Sun News reported.

Dwiggins had been held there since Aug. 20 when he was arrested and charged with murder in the stabbing of 17-year-old Michael Dalton Fitch, also of Shelby.

In September, Dwiggins appeared in court for a bail hearing, but Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Culbertson denied the request. At that hearing, Culbertson said he denied it based on the seriousness of the crime, allegations that Dwiggins had previous problems in the community and was to live out of state with his mother, who also was charged as an accessory in the incident.

On Tuesday, Fitch’s father, Bryan Fitch said Dwiggins is on house arrest living with his grandparents in the same county as his family.

“I think it is absolutely ridiculous. It’s a kick in the mouth,” Bryan Fitch said via telephone, his voice full of emotion. “The judge kept saying [Dwiggins] has a constitutional right to a bond, but I don’t believe that. He has a right to a hearing, but he doesn’t have a right to bond being set. I’m still not over it. This has just about drove our family insane.”

Dalton Fitch died while being treated at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center about 90 minutes after he was stabbed in the chest and back on Aug. 20 at Ocean Lakes Campground located at 6001 S. Kings Highway, according to authorities. Witnesses told police an altercation between Dwiggins and a girl led to the stabbing.

Officers also charged Dwiggins’ 51-year-old mother, Kathy Ledford Dwiggins, with accessory after the fact of murder. She was released the following day on $10,000 bond.

The charge against Kathy Dwiggins stemmed from her attempt to “sterilize and clean the knife,” Heather von Herrmann, assistant solicitor who is prosecuting the case, said during the September hearing.

A second hearing was held before Circuit Court Judge Edward Cottingham on Oct. 12 and Dwiggins was ordered to remain with his grandparents and not leave the confines of their home and yard unless he is going to a doctor’s appointment or to meet with his lawyer, von Herrmann said Tuesday. Culbertson took issue with Dwiggins being released to his mother’s custody since she is charged as a co-defendant in the case, so arraignments were made for the teen to be released to his grandparents’ custody.

Dwiggins is not under electronic monitoring, which was requested in the September hearing, because of issues with him living out of state, von Herrmann said Tuesday.

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