Defendant accepts Alford plea in 10-year-old Lexington County murder case

Calen Radwill
Calen Radwill

(Lexington) Nov. 15, 2005 - A Lexington family waited ten years for justice, and Tuesday it came in a matter of minutes.

Calen Radwill was supposed to go on trial on murder charges. Instead, he accepts a plea bargain.

Judge: "Do you have anything to say?"

Defendant Calen Radwill: "No, your honor."

A calm Calen Radwill says nothing after accepting an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping, and having a weapon during a violent crime, the killing of Brandon Vinson.

The special plea means the Radwill trial will not go into further detail. And the family will never know the truth.

Father Tim Vinson, "We don't know why he was taken. We don't know how he was taken. We know the same thing today we knew ten years ago."

Mother Donna Ebert, "It's like finally we get to go to court and it's over, but it's not."

Investigators say Radwill, 17 at the time, kidnapped and stabbed 15-year-old Brandon Vinson from a Red Bank grocery store. Three days later Vinson's body was found in a chicken coop in Gilbert, authorities say, stabbed over 70 times.

WIS asked the defense about the ten-year wait. They said it's up to the prosecution to set the court date. The prosecution didn't have an answer.

Judge William Keesley calls the delay a "disgrace," and he says, "On behalf of the system I'm sorry. That's all I can say."

So for ten years Radwill's been in the Lexington County jail awaiting trial. Now he goes to prison where, because of the deal, he'll serve ten more.

Reported by Maggie Alexander

Updated 7:25pm by Bryce Mursch