Appearing at a court proceeding for the first time since his father’s arrest last year for a shooting at a Rock Hill strip club, NFL player and new dad Jadeveon Clowney asked a judge to grant bond for David “Chilli Bean” Morgan so Morgan could meet his grandson.
Clowney, a linebacker with the NFL’s Houston Texans, was one of two family members to speak on behalf of Morgan during Thursday’s bond hearing at the Moss Justice Center, the other being Morgan’s sister. Morgan, 45, is accused of shooting at two people at a Rock Hill strip club on Aug. 4. He was shot in the shoulder while exchanging gunfire with one of the victims and has remained jailed since the shooting on attempted murder and weapons charges.
“I think he’s been doing pretty good,” Clowney said in court, adding that he hasn’t seen his dad “in a while.”
Clowney’s mother, a single parent, raised him while Morgan spent 12 years in prison for burglary and other felonies.
“When I did see him, he was a good dad to me,” he said. “I think he’s been doing pretty good up until this time. I think he should see his grandson, at least.”
Morgan’s arrest came two months before Clowney and his girlfriend welcomed their son into the world. Clowney has said little publicly about Morgan’s arrest since August.
Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III set Morgan’s bond at $125,000 and ordered house arrest and GPS monitoring if he makes bond. Morgan remained jailed late Thursday evening.
Morgan was shot around 2:15 a.m. Aug. 4 in an exchange of gunfire with the manager of the Crazy Horse gentlemen’s club on Cherry Road. Morgan had shot at the manager and his girlfriend following his removal from the club for sitting on the stage and causing a disturbance, prosecutors have said. Morgan was ejected from the club but later came back and confronted the manager and told him he had a gun. The manager allegedly told Morgan he was also armed, had a permit for the gun, and again asked Morgan to leave.
Morgan walked away before holding up his arms and appearing ready to shoot, prosecutors have said. The employee warned Morgan again. Morgan is accused of shooting one time that came close to the manager’s girlfriend, then firing a second time before the manager shot Morgan.
Police arrested Morgan at Piedmont Medical Center, where he went for treatment for the gunshot wound.
Morgan walked out of his first court hearing in Rock Hill and later tried for bail in a York County courtroom. However, a judge ruled Morgan, who is barred by state and federal laws from possessing a gun, was a potential threat to the community and he has been jailed since.
“He admitted being present, but he did not admit to having a gun or shooting a gun,” Assistant Solicitor Jenny Desch said Thursday. “In fact, he claimed that he was a victim in the case because he was the one that was shot.”
Desch said the state has offered Morgan a plea deal in which he would serve 14 to 20 years. Otherwise, she said, the case will be ready for trial by the June 20 term.
Rock Hill attorney Michael Brown Jr. suggested Thursday that they would argue Morgan fired his gun in self-defense.
“This is the only one that got shot,” he said, pointing to Morgan, who stood next to him. “They had guns there, too. We believe at trial we’ll be able to prove, at least, a substantial amount of self-defense.”
Morgan was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1995 after being convicted of burglary and other charges, and has a criminal record dating back to 1987, according to state records.
“He does have a lengthy criminal record; however, all of that was accumulated by the time he was 24 years of age,” Brown said. “The last 20 years, he’s had no convictions or any trouble whatsoever.”
Before the Crazy Horse shooting Morgan had been charged with two traffic offenses but no felonies, according to the State Law Enforcement Division records.