The courtroom erupted in applause Monday afternoon when Judge Steven John set the bond of a Myrtle Beach rapper accused of beating and firing at a man in an altercation that led to the shooting death of his long-time, live-in girlfriend and their unborn child. The applause was quickly hushed with a stern warning.
“Sit down and be quiet! Any further outburst and you’re going to be arrested,” John told the crowd that filled the right-side pews in the Horry County courtroom for the bond hearing of Ajay Alston.
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The pews were packed with Alston’s supporters, including a brother of the man police say he shot at and beat in a fight seconds before another man joined the fray with more gunfire that ultimately killed Alston’s girlfriend of six years, Jadasia Myers, who was six months pregnant at the time.
Alston, 22, faces one charge of attempted murder, high and aggravated assault, weapons charges and two traffic-related charges from the night Myers and their unborn daughter were killed. But Alston wasn’t the shooter, who took their lives, his attorney, Jonny McCoy, reminded the court.
Alston was a “victim,” McCoy said. “He was shot in the head.”
Myers was with Alston on the night of Sept. 24 in a crowd outside the Carver Street Apartments on Spivey Avenue in Myrtle Beach when a fight broke out between him and Khalil Spivey.
Alston and Spivey allegedly exchanged gunfire during the incident before Spivey’s gun jammed, according to attorneys in court.
Alston then chased Spivey, and as Alston fired his gun, he tackled Spivey to the ground and beat him with the butt of his weapon, arrest warrants allege.
Then, McCoy says, Alston started to walk away with Myers as Spivey ran into a nearby home where 21-year-old Jordan Pyatt came out shooting.
Alston, Myers and another man fled towards their car under a hail of bullets, attorneys say. One bullet grazed Alston’s head; another struck Myers in the neck, killing her and their unborn daughter, they were going to name Harmony, according to court records.
Alston has been held in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center since his arrest on Sept. 27. He missed the funeral for Myers and their unborn baby, McCoy said.
His mother, Tewana Denney, told the court she wanted him home and had already made arrangements for Alston to receive the counseling he needs.
“Right now he’s in mourning. He needs his family,” Denney said. “He’s suffering a lot.”
Shane Deperini of GlowStreet Entertainment, told the court Alston has participated in several charity events, hosting cookouts, free performances and signing “thousands” of free CDs for kids in the Myrtle Beach area.
“He loves his community more than any other artist I’ve ever worked for,” Deperini said.
McCoy told the court that his client, who raps under the name of Ace Xartel, has a “legitimate career” with “over a million hits on YouTube” for his videos.
“We love Ajay,” Elijah Spivey, the brother of Khalil Spivey, told the court on Monday. “He’s no threat to us.”
Alston raised his shackled hands to wipe his cheeks as Spivey spoke.
But prosecutors noted that Khalil Spivey, himself, wasn’t in the courtroom.
“The victim is not present because he’s petrified,” the prosecutor told the court.
Judge John said he would only be considering two things in his decision on bond: any flight risk potential and threat to the community.
He set Alston’s surety bond at a total of $85,000 for all charges. Alston was ordered to live with his mother and have no contact with Spivey or his family. A restraining order to keep Alston from having contact with Myers’ 6-year-old daughter he helped raise - initially set by the Myrtle Beach Municipal Court - was overturned.
“I’m happy with the judge’s decision,” Denney said after the hearing.