Man charged in Halloween killing pleads not guilty

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - A South Carolina ex-convict accused of answering a knock at his door on Halloween night by spraying the front of his house with bullets and killing a 12-year-old trick-or-treater pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a federal weapons charge.

Quentin Lamar Patrick is accused of killing T.J. Darrisaw, who died in a rain of at least 29 bullets. Patrick, 22, entered his plea during an arraignment on a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition, an offense connected to two guns found in his Sumter home.

Patrick, who has three prior convictions for crack cocaine distribution, emptied an AK-47 into his front door, walls and windows when he heard someone knock and saw people wearing masks standing on his stoop, police have said.

The boy was trick-or-treating and knocked on Patrick's door because the porch light was on in the city about 45 miles east of Columbia, police said.

His 9-year-old brother, Ahmadre Darrisaw, and their father, Freddie Grinnell, were injured but survived. Another sibling with them was not hurt.

Patrick told police he had been robbed and shot in the past year and that he thought he was being robbed again. He faces state charges of murder, three counts of assault and battery with intent to kill, and one count of assault with intent to kill.

The boy's parents declined to speak with reporters after the hearing.

Outside the courthouse, Patrick's brother offered solace to the victim's family and said his tightly knit Sumter family was also suffering.

"We'd just like to apologize to the family for what happened," said Tommy Lewis, who said his brother had lived in the neighborhood where the shooting took place for only a month. "It was something that was unintended, as bad as it may seem."

During the hearing, Patrick answered routine questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Paige Gossett, saying he understood the charges against him and possible penalty of life in prison. Patrick had been held without bond on the Sumter charges, and no federal bond was set.

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mable8 01/07/09 - 12:48 pm
While I do support the Second

While I do support the Second Amendment, no one needs to own or possess an AK-47, which is intended for warfare, not civilian use. These type of weapons belong in military armories, not in private homes. A child would be alive today if these horrid weapons were controlled by both the State and Federal governments. Patrick deserves to be where he is today--in jail and for life if convicted. He has NO excuse for what he did. It is heartening that Patrick's brother apologized to the victim's family, but where is the heart-felt apology from Patrick, himself? He may have pled not guilty, but he most certainly is and I hope the jury gives him the maximum punishment that the law allows.

whitescorpion 01/07/09 - 02:14 pm
mable8, you are right. I wish

mable8, you are right. I wish he would have used a shotgun or a 22-automatic to murder this child. What the hell is the difference? Apparently you do not understand the purpose behind the second amendment. Look it up, you might be suprised.

Leroy 01/07/09 - 11:01 pm
Strange how this idiot thinks

Strange how this idiot thinks he can get off on "felon in possession of a firearm". Lets see: 1) He was a felon and 2) He killed someone with a firearm, which is more than just possessing. All in all, it'd be best for society if this guy went down on the state charges and got the death penalty, but it'd be justice to see him get a big federal sentence as well.

And argue all you want, mable8 is right in that AK-47's and the like should not be allowed for the general public. Too many idiots get their hands on them and have no idea what they're capable of. These are far different than .22's and 12-gauges: they're made to kill people, and that's all they're made for. People should be allowed handguns for self-defense, and certain rifles and shotguns for the same and hunting as well. Unless you plan on shooting a deer through a cinder-block wall, you don't need an AK-47.

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