South Carolina

Prosecutors tried to revoke Rock Hill man’s bond. Now he’s accused in fatal shooting.

York County Sheriffs looking for ‘armed and dangerous’ suspect in Rock Hill shootings

The York County Sheriff's Office is seeking help from the public on the whereabouts of 35-year-old Marques Quantez Heath, the suspect in both shootings that locked down Rock Hill schools on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.
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The York County Sheriff's Office is seeking help from the public on the whereabouts of 35-year-old Marques Quantez Heath, the suspect in both shootings that locked down Rock Hill schools on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.

Prosecutors said Marques Quantez Heath was a threat to public safety when they sought to revoke his bond on charges of domestic violence in January.

“The defendant presents an unreasonable danger to the community,” prosecutors wrote in a court motion against Heath.

A court hearing was never held because of scheduling problems, prosecutors said. The hearing had been set for Thursday.

“The prosecutor, in this case, moved as quickly as possible to get this defendant into court on this motion to revoke,” said 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett. “Though the motion was just days after the arrest on the domestic violence charge, there just wasn’t enough time to get the matter before a judge.”

On Tuesday, one woman was fatally shot and two others were injured in Rock Hill. Three others were assaulted with a hammer, police said.

Heath, 35, of Rock Hill is accused in those crimes. He has not been formally charged because he was arrested in Charlotte the same day.

Heath waived extradition in Charlotte Wednesday afternoon and is expected to be served warrants when he is booked at the York County jail.

Heath also was arrested in September on 14 drug and weapons charges. He was released on bond days later.

On Jan. 20, he was charged with domestic violence against Bethany Farrar, one of the women who was injured in Tuesday’s shooting.

On Jan. 28, prosecutors sought to revoke his bond and asked for a hearing, where a judge could decide if Heath should go back to jail. They had learned from a victim advocate that Heath had been arrested for domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.

The hearing was set for Jan. 31.

Prosecutors planned to argue that Heath violated conditions of his September bond with the domestic violence arrest, the motion states.

Heath did not show up for court Jan. 31, Brackett said.

However, legal protocols require that Heath, who was free on bond, be legally served with the motion to revoke. They also require that Heath and his lawyer, a public defender, be given police and prosecution materials about why prosecutors sought to revoke his bond.

Prosecutors were unsure if Heath had been served the legal notice to appear in court on Jan. 31, Brackett said.

“We could not say with certainty that he had been served,” Brackett said.

Heath was at Moss Justice Center courthouse in York last week for a required appearance in his September drug arrest, but no criminal court was scheduled, Brackett said.

There was no way to hold the hearing last week, without a judge and proper legal scheduling, Brackett said.

One of Brackett’s prosecutors and Heath’s lawyer made arrangements for the hearing to be held Thursday.

Police and prosecutors say Heath shot the three women and attacked three others with a hammer before the revocation hearing.

Timeline

Here is the timeline for Heath’s arrests and bonds, according to police and court records, and prosecutors’ Jan. 28 motion to revoke bond:

  • Heath was charged in September with 14 offenses, including drug trafficking of more than 800 Fentanyl opioid pills, possession of crack cocaine and illegal possession of several guns, including a stolen military assault rifle, records show. He was released on bond days later, court records show.
  • In January, Heath was charged with driving under suspension and released on bond, court record show.
  • On Jan. 20, he was charged with the domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature against Farrar. He was released the next day, after a magistrate judge set his bond for the domestic violence charge at $10,000, court records show. Prosecutors then sought to have that bond revoked.
  • Prosecutors said in the Jan. 28 motion that Heath’s previous criminal record of convictions showed he was a danger to the public based on Heath’s previous record of convictions dating back to 2002, his commission of a violent crime while out on bond and possession of guns. Heath was banned from possessing weapons because of previous felony convictions, according to the motion. “The defendant’s prior record is extensive, dangerous, contains multiple lengthy incarcerations for assaults, burglary and drugs,” prosecutors said in the motion. Prosecutors also said one of the weapons seized in the September arrest was capable of automatic fire that had been reported stolen from the United States military.
  • Heath served three terms in the South Carolina Department of Corrections after two convictions for trafficking crack cocaine, two convictions for burglary and convictions weapons and other charges, according to prosecutors and court records.
  • He was convicted of crimes in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2015 and 2018, records show. The longest sentence was for drug trafficking in 2006, where Heath received nine years in prison. Those felony convictions ban Heath from possessing guns under both South Carolina and federal law, prosecutors said.
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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.

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