Suspect in exchange of gunfire with Florence officers denied bond

Pee Dee Crime

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW)- Bond has been denied for the suspect in an exchange of gunfire with Florence officers.

Frederick Whitley appeared in court of Tuesday afternoon, where bond was denied for three counts of attempted murder.

News13 was at Whitley’s hearing.

Whitley also faces other charges. He’s charged with possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of a weapon with an obliterated serial number and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. The judge set that bond to $300,000.

Whitley requested a preliminary hearing, and his official court date was set to December 17th.

During the bond hearing, Whitley asked the judge if he could make a brief comment regarding the incident.

“At the time, the officers that came there didn’t perform the duties right like it’s supposed to. That’s why it escalated like it did,” Whitley said.

Whitley’s girlfriend, Joninita Johnson, was at the bond hearing. Johnson said she was at a home on 504 Brunson Street when the incident happened.

“From my understanding, I feel as though some of these charges shouldn’t be put on him for the simple fact of how they came on the scene,” Johnson said.

Johnson alleges officers didn’t identify themselves when arriving on the property. She also said police didn’t read Miranda rights.

The judge told Whitley and Johnson they would have to discuss those allegations with a lawyer in preparation for trial.

Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler previously told News13 that Whitley and officers exchanged gunfire. Officers were serving a warrant for Whitley for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine Monday evening at around 5:30. Whitley was also wanted for an outstanding General Sessions bench warrant for drug charges.

Chief Heidler said there were no injuries and that Whitley surrendered to officers.

Three officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol.

Five officers were shot at in the incident, three of whom returned fire.

SLED has been called in to investigate the incident.

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