Attorney: Order grieving mom to stop posting on Facebook
LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. -An attorney for a Laurens County man charged with murder is asking a judge to order the victim's mother to stop posting about her daughter's death, and the criminal case on Facebook and other social media sites.
The call to 911 was released, and bond was denied Tuesday for the 29-year-old man charged in the strangulation death of his girlfriend over the weekend.
Emily Joy, the mother of 19-year-old Emily Asbill, is fighting the request, saying she is careful about what she posts, and that posting stories about domestic violence and requests for prayers on a Facebook page dedicated to her daughter's memory is helping her heal.
Police say Asbill was strangled by her boyfriend, 30-year-old Michael Beaty Jr., in June.
Beaty's defense attorney, Charles Grose, says his client will not get a fair trial if Asbill's mother keeps posting on social media sites.
"The presumption of innocence is important in that we want this case tried in a court room where all sides have a fair opportunity to respond to anything that's said," said Grose.
Beaty is charged in Asbill's death and William Alexander was charged with accessory after the fact of murder. They have both been held without bond since their arrests last summer.
Clinton police said that Asbil was found dead in a car that was parked near the home of Beaty's stepfather.
Investigators said Asbil, Beaty and Alexander had been at a party and were in the car for an hour before stopping at Beaty's stepfather's house. (Full Story)
Beaty and five other people were also charged in connection to the party on Fuller Road the night of Asbill's death, where investigators said she was provided with drugs and alcohol.
Police said road marks were found on Asbill's body, but it's unclear what caused the marks.
The Clinton police chief said Asbill is the daughter of a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent.
Last month Joy helped organize a rally called "No More Lies and Bruises" in Greenwood to take a stand against domestic violence and to raise money for an emergency shelter for women.
At the rally, Joy said, "This has been an absolute nightmare that no parent should have to go through."
She said she knew she had to do something positive in her daughter's memory, so she has been fighting for tougher laws and stiffer penalties for domestic violence offenders. And she's not alone.
More than a dozen singers performed the debut of "Lies and Bruises," accompanied by Asbill's guitar.
The Clinton Chronicle reported that, "Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo said that in his view, Joy did not say anything at the rally in Greenwood about the facts of the murder case. He said to his recollection Joy did not use Beaty's name."
The Chronicle reported: "Grose disagreed during the formal hearing and, vehemently, during a 20-minute all-attorneys conference at the bench. Of Asbill's mother, Emily Joy, Grose said, 'She attended the (Greenwood) rally and talked about her daughter's case. It is being written up as her making statements, and not presenting the other side. Her daughter was a perpetrator of violence against Mr. Beaty.'"
The hearing on the matter was scheduled to reconvene Friday, but at this time that hearing has been canceled with no word on a new date.
Advocates for victims in South Carolina say they have never heard of a request like this. The executive director of Safe Harbor, a shelter for battered women, said Joy is being victimized all over again.
"If we are telling someone who has been affected to not talk about it we are taking our society back to the stone ages," said Becky Callaham with Safe Harbor.
Callaham has a message for Asbill's family. She said, "Don't be bullied into not expressing your experience just because the perpetrator doesn't want the rest of the world to hear it.