An 86-year-old Aiken man accused of shooting and killing a family member has been released on bond, as he needs significant medical attention.
Court and law enforcement officials in Augusta threw together a bond hearing on short notice Wednesday afternoon, amid reports that a “gravely ill” Charles W. Gorrell was released from Doctors Hospital and sent back into Richland County Sheriff’s Office custody at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center in Augusta.
According to officials, this was Gorrell’s fifth trip to a hospital since his arrest on Oct. 16. That day, authorities said he brought a pistol into his wife’s hospital room and shot his nephew, 59-year-old Tim Grooms.
Superior Court Judge William M. Fleming Jr. denied Gorrell’s original request for bond on Nov. 1. The motion to reconsider Gorrell’s bond said his health had declined rapidly in the past month; he has supposedly dropped 32 pounds and is no longer able to walk.
Detention Center officials said at the hearing that their medical facilities are not capable of handling a patient with Gorrell’s needs.
The motion for reconsideration states that Gorrell has been diagnosed with diabetes, congestive heart failure and has contracted pneumonia. He was most recently hospitalized for coughing up blood, a complication related to a blood thinning medication he is taking, the motion said.
There were objections to Gorrell’s release, too. The victim’s wife stated her fear that Gorrell would get “church friends” to take him anywhere and that he may continue his violence.
Superior Court Judge Danny Craig, who presided over this hearing, said he, too, was concerned for the family’s safety and demanded Gorrell’s son, Greg Gorrell, keep a close watch on his father at his home in Columbia.
Craig also arranged for electronic monitoring to be placed on Gorrell. The device will alert the probation office should Gorrell leave his son’s home before he comes back to court.
“I’m pretty much convinced that, in a jail setting, that he might not live to Friday,” Craig said.