GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — A Greenville County man accused of beating his estranged girlfriend to death last month reappeared before a judge Friday afternoon.
According to records, Tyler Wilkins has a history with the Winchester family.
In December 2021, he was charged with two counts of attempted murder involving Clarissa Winchester and her father, including domestic violence of a high and aggravated offense, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and other offenses.
Nearly a year later, Wilkins was charged with kidnapping, murder and unlawful neglect of a child after Clarissa, who was pregnant at the time, was found dead in a home on Saw Mill Road.
On Friday, a motion hearing revealed Wilkins was out on a $35,000 bond at the time for his 2021 offenses with no contact allowed with the victims.
“You are innocent until proven guilty,” said Attorney John Reckenbeil.
Greenville County attorney, John Reckenbeil, has no ties to this particular case, however, has worked on similar ones.
“For attempted murder, normally a Magistrate judge will set bond,” said Reckenbeil. “Then the individual has the requirement to be on good behavior when they are out on bond. If they violate that in any way they can be brought back for a motion to revoke that bond.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an average of 10 million people a year are physically abused by an intimate partner. The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault shows the state ranks among the top in the nation for the crime.
“Criminal domestic violence cases are the most prevalent in our area,” said Reckenbeil.
At the time of Wilkins’ 2021 attempted murder charges, Clarissa’s father said they were understanding. He said Wilkins was a part of their family.
“It just really escalated. Things got rough for him and we tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. It could have just been a bad day. Unfortunately, this is the result of giving him that benefit,” said Michael Winchester, Clarissa’s father.
“She was such a beautiful person. She cared for everyone, and cared for herself,” said Clarissa’s sister, Kaitlin Wood, with tears in her eyes. “She would have been a great mom. She was already a great mom.”
After reviewing the case Friday, the judge motioned to revoke Wilkins’ bond for his December 2021 charges.
A trial for Wilkins’ recent offenses, reported in November, will be held at a later date.
He will remain behind bars at the Greenville County Detention Center.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, help is a phone call away.
National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233