Judge Denies Bond for Pawn Shop Shooting Suspect
MONCKS CORNER, SC (BILL BURR, WTAT-TV) — It was almost like a scene out of a movie – a man asks to see a rifle at a Ladson pawn shop and before any knew what was happening, he loaded ammo and began firing. Bullets flew as an employee fired back.
On Wednesday, that man appeared before a bond court judge.
Gregory Franklin Westfall will stay at Hill-Finklea Detention Center a little longer. A judge denied him bond because of what he said about the seriousness of his charges — attempted murder among them.
Wearing his jail uniform and bound with handcuffs, Gregory Westfall entered a Berkeley County courtroom to find out if he would be granted a bond after being charged with serious crimes.
“When you have armed robbery, that is a discretionary fine 30 years in jail,” explained Judge James Hinson of Berkeley County Bond Court following the violent incident inside Big Buck’s Pawn Shop on Tuesday.
Sheriff’s deputies say Westfall, wearing ballistic armor, opened fire with a rifle. They say he aimed at two employees before running out the door.
Westfall was arrested a short time after and charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and a weapons violation.
“I would like to say it seems very much so that this was a very premeditated instance of… I think that he is a risk to other people. Especially my employees or any other person he may come in contact with based on the things that I’ve seen and I would request the court not grant bond to this gentleman,” said a manager for the pawn shop.
After that pawn shop manager addressed the court, the accused gunman spoke to the judge.
“My actions were poor in choice. However, due to the circumstances of my life and the abuse that has been struck against me, I do rise in protest. And I arise in violent protest. That’s all I would like to say,” Westfall said.
The judge wasn’t moved by Westfall’s words.
“I am denying your bond. And so it will go to a higher court,” Judge Hinson said.
Gregory Westfall left the courtroom and returned to a jail cell.
Westfall faces up to 30 years in prison for each of the most serious charges. He’ll have another appearance in court on October 13th.