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Bill increases prison time for gang members

COLUMBIA (AP) — A gang member would receive a longer prison sentence under a bill proposed in the South Carolina House.

Rep. Phyllis Henderson says she hopes the bill helps law enforcement keep gang members off the streets. The Greer Republican says last October’s shooting of University of South Carolina student Martha Childress angered her. Childress was shot as she waited for a taxi in Columbia’s Five Points neighborhood. She was not the intended victim.

Henderson’s measure increases prison time for crimes that benefit a gang.

Jeff Moore of the state Sheriffs’ Association says the real crux of the bill is the $50,000 bond requirement for arrested gang members.

A House Judiciary subcommittee is expected to discuss the bill later this month. The panel adjourned Wednesday without getting to it.

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