Bond was revoked Monday for a Little River man charged with murder after prosecutors learned he was arrested six days ago in Kershaw County on a gun charge.
Christopher Evon Smith, 31, is charged with murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the Nov. 23, 2013, shooting death of Courtland Gore of North Carolina.
Smith was set to appear in court this week for a trial on the charges and prosecutors had offered Smith a deal to plead guilty, but he rejected it on Monday. His trial is now set for Dec. 1, said 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson.
But on Monday, Smith’s attorney, Alex Hyman, told Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein that Smith has requested a new attorney. Hyman represented Smith during Monday’s bond revocation hearing and said he would speak with Smith about the request and alert Goodstein this week if another attorney should be appointed.
Richardson told Goodstein that deputies stopped a vehicle with Smith and another man inside it on Nov. 6, and found a gun registered to Smith under the front seat. Smith was charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews previously said officers stopped Smith and Travis Levont Walters, 34, on I-20 for driving 90 mph in a 70 mph zone. Walters was wanted by U.S. Marshals for federal probation violations on weapons possession and drug trafficking charges.
Hyman told Goodstein that Smith was driving Walters to Greenville twice a week for physical therapy following a vehicle crash, and the gun being under the seat instead of in the glove box or trunk was a misunderstanding.
Walters was recently charged with fleeing from the N.C. Highway Patrol in an accident in which he wrecked during the pursuit and troopers found cocaine in his vehicle, Matthews said. Walters is also out on bond on cocaine trafficking charges in Georgia.
Smith had been free since March 6 on $75,000 bail after he was arrested on Nov. 24, in Horry County on the charges related to Gore’s death.
According to an Horry County press release, officers responded to U.S. 701 and S.C. 22 about 8:30 p.m. Nov. 23 for a reported shooting. Officers learned that Gore was fatally shot while driving, causing the vehicle to crash. A passenger, Aaron Lee Campbell, 40, of Raleigh, N.C., fled the scene.
Investigators learned that Gore and Campbell allegedly purchased drugs from Smith using counterfeit money. Police said Smith then began following Gore and Campbell and multiple shots were fired, with one shot hitting Gore.
Detectives identified Smith as a suspect and located him the next morning. They also located and arrested Campbell in connection with the counterfeit money.