Nearly a dozen members of the local Zulu organization have been arrested on Lynching charges. On May 9, Dominque Mabry, Khalil Graham, Stephaun Mason, Joseph White, Lucien Hannah, Antione Wagner, Christian Wilson and Rodney Martin, all of Kingstree, were arrested by Kingstree Police Department and each was charged with the crime after allegedly beating a fellow member. All but one suspect has been released on $10,000 bond. Police are searching for a ninth suspect.
According to Kingstree Police Incident Reports, on April 27, officers responded to a complaint of an assault that occurred somewhere near 3rd Avenue in Kingstree. Officers located the victim a short time later. The victim alleges he was confronted by a member about stealing Wilson’s handgun and when he tried to refute the accusation he was struck from behind. The victim claims he was then beaten be several members of Zulu. The victim initially refused medical treatment but was later transported to an area hospital where he received stitches above his right eye.
According to the organization’s Facebook group page, Zulu is a brotherhood organization dedicated to the advancement improvement through outstanding programs and services delivered in an outstanding and supportive environment. Zulu was originally founded in 1993 to provide members of the Kingstree Senior High School Marching Band Drumline an avenue to enjoy good times in a safe and positive atmosphere.
The current organization, described during a 2010 interview with The News, is a fraternity/sorority and lead by Zulu “heads” Christian “Sean Paul" Avant and Rodney “HotRod” Martin. Both Avant and Martin have maintained that Zulu members are responsible individuals who do not promote questionable practices such as hazing. However, the group has had its run-ins with the law. According to local law enforcement, complaints have been received but no one has come forward or pressed charges. The police also had a time identifying the members of the organization, as most members could not be identified by their birth name. Lynching in the second degree (any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person and from which death does not result) is a felony. A person found guilty of the crime can be sentenced to prison up to 20 years but no less than three years.