Man arrested in deadly West Columbia crash given $125,000 surety bond

On Sept. 15, a crash near 12th Street and B Avenue resulted in the death of 17-year-old Leeya Janae Leaverette and Cornelius Alexander Clory, 68, according to L
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 11:09 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A man arrested following a deadly West Columbia crash that killed a teenager and her grandfather was given a $125,000 surety bond Thursday.

Joshua Yarborough, 24, is facing two counts of felony driving under the influence resulting in death and one count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Circuit Court Judge Debra McCaslin set Yarborough’s bond with the condition of house arrest.

He will be allowed to leave his house to go to work, but will not be allowed to drive.

Yarborough also must wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet, and have no contact with the victims’ family.

The crash happened on September 15 near the intersection of 12th Street and B Avenue, right near the Zesto’s.

17-year-old Leeya Leaverette and 68-year-old Cornelius Clory died in the wreck, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.

Coroner Fisher said Clory was stopped at B Avenue when his vehicle was struck from behind. Leaverette and Clory were both pronounced dead on the scene due to injuries from the crash.

Dick Harpootlian, representing the family of the victims, spoke at the bond hearing, and said that the family is some of the nicest people he has met in his career.

The family, he said, was not looking for a “punitive pre-trial detention” for the defendant, and they were “more generous” than he would be in this situation.

Yarborough did not appear in person Thursday, as he is being quarantined due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Lexington County Detention Center.

Receipts from the night of the crash show that yarborough had at least three drinks.

Surveillance video may reveal he had more, the state said in court.

The responding officer said he noticed the defendant slurring his speech when he approached him after the wreck.

A blood alcohol test was taken, but those results from SLED are not yet complete.

The state and Mothers Against Drunk Driving South Carolina (MAAD) advocated for bond to be denied, but Kimberly Cockrell, victims services manager for MAAD, said she understood the judge’s decision.

“I absolutely understand it,” she said. “There is no prior record except for a couple of speeding tickets. Judge McCaslin is always very fair. So it’s understandable.”

Yarborough’s father Randy spoke during the hearing, and apologized to the victims’ family.

McCaslin said she took into consideration character letters that were submitted on Yarborough’s behalf, as well as the fact he had no prior criminal record.

The victims’ family was not present in the courtroom as they are traveling to Virginia for Cornelius’ funeral.

Notice a spelling or grammar error in this article? Click or tap here to report it. Please include the article's headline.

Stay up to date with WIS News 10. Get the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and Stream us on Roku, YouTube, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV.