A Lee County man currently serving life in prison for two murders could soon get a new trial after a Wednesday appellate court ruling.
The South Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that 27-year-old Jeremy McMillan should get another chance in court because of mistakes made by the judge during his 2008 trial. In picking the jury, attorneys for McMillan — who is black — objected to several jurors at the time, including some who were white. But the trial judge did not allow McMillan’s team to strike one of those white jurors, ruling that the objection came solely on the basis of race.
But McMillan’s appellate lawyers said race was not the issue. They said that defense attorneys had not wanted the juror because it seemed that the person could not be unbiased at trial based on questions asked during the selection process.
McMillan was convicted in 2008 for the shooting deaths of 38-year-old Patrick Hood and 24-year-old Joshua Lee. Investigators said that the men were killed after an early morning fight in a Lee County bar in April 2006.
McMillan’s attorneys made two other arguments in their appeal – including that the court had not ruled on prosecutors’ introduction of their client’s criminal past – but the appeals court did not address those arguments, only ruling that McMillan should get a new trial based on the juror issue.
State prosecutors said they were considering their next move.