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Court document gives new insight into the bond for a murder suspect who would die in police shoot-out

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Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 8:31 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - WIS has obtained the bond order for the 19-year-old murder suspect who died in June in a shoot-out with Lexington County law enforcement.

The order lists a series of house arrest conditions, but did not prevent Tyler Boages from possessing a gun.

Boages’ bond conditions were brought into question by Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon in the aftermath of a June 3 shootout between Lexington County deputies, West Columbia Police Officers and Boages.

Boages had bonded out for an alleged murder which took place in December 2020.

What happened

On June 3, Lexington County Sheriff’s Deputies and West Columbia Police Officers responded to a call that Boages was threatening his family with a gun.

The Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon told journalists Boages ran into the woods, shot at officers, and was shot and killed by officers in response.

The department incident report supports that chain of events.

Koon said Boages suffered from mental health issues and court records show he was out on bond for a December 2020 alleged murder.

At the time, Koon called for judicial reform and mental health reform.

“You would think, I don’t have bond restrictions in front of me, but you would think somebody if he is out on bond, on murder in another county, that they would say you can’t have a handgun,” he said.

Court records show Richland County deputies arrested Boages in January 2021 for the December 2020 alleged  murder.

Judge Jocelyn Newman set a $75,000 surety bond in July which was posted in September.

The bond order states Boages is to be GPS tracked, and can only leave his home for mental health appointments, medical appointments, church and legal appointments.

It does not reference guns.

WIS contacted Newman’s office for comment, who deferred to the S.C. Judicial Branch spokesperson Ginny Jones.

Jones said judges do not comment on cases and forwarded WIS links to state law outlining potential considerations and conditions for bonds.

Gun control is not listed a potential condition, and mental health is listed as a potential consideration.

The county solicitor’s office declined to comment.

Boages’ public defender Rob Forney sent WIS the following statement:

At his bond hearing last July, Tyler Boages went before the Court of General Sessions as an 18 year old young man with a history of mental illness. Before setting Tyler’s bond, the Court took a great deal of time hearing from the Assistant Solicitor and victim’s family, as well as from Tyler’s mother Tiffany and myself. The judge was deliberate and thoughtful in setting a bond with strict conditions of house arrest. The law entitles those accused of crimes, even murder, a bond unless it is shown they are a flight risk or a danger to the community. The death of Tyler Boages was a tragedy like no other I’ve experienced in seven years practicing as a Public Defender. It is important to remember that there is a presumption of innocence in our criminal system. We were looking forward to presenting Tyler’s defense at trial, and are devastated that we will not have that opportunity. My thoughts are with Tyler’s family and all those affected by his death.

Boages did not have any prior convictions and was over the age of 18, making it legal for him to possess a handgun.

His mother, Tiffany Boages, said she was not aware of him possessing a gun prior to his arrest nor aware of how he obtained a weapon after his bond.

Tiffany said the bond was sought to help Tyler gain access to mental health resources not available in the county jail.

She described how he had struggled with mental health from a young age.

“He was diagnosed with ADHD, which he was, but I felt like that there was more. His anger and aggressiveness was a lot to handle and I spoke on that, I was never in denial ever and I always tried to get him the help for a while we were able to get the help, but for any parent that has a child that suffers with mental health, the older they get the more resistant they become sometimes for the help,” she said.

She said they sought help for Tyler, but local resources often weren’t enough.

“They’re not equipped to deal with people that need more significant inpatient help and they did the best that they could with what they work with, but Tyler needed more,” she said.

Tiffany said she wants to be an advocate for expanded mental health resources moving forward.

In relation to the June incident, Tiffany confirmed she called 911 on Tyler and confirmed he was threatening the family with a weapon.

She said she wished there would have been a mental health response to the situation.

SLED is investigating the incident. Four deputies and two police officers are on administrative leave per procedure.

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