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Police: suspect smirks at victim's family during bond hearing, causes commotion

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Shawn Johnson, Roger Rowland, Michaela Christensen and Christian Lopez (courtesy: Anderson Police Dept.) Shawn Johnson, Roger Rowland, Michaela Christensen and Christian Lopez (courtesy: Anderson Police Dept.)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Police sprang into action to prevent an altercation at a court hearing in a murder case Saturday morning, according to Lt. Tony Tilley with the Anderson Police Department.

Tilley said Roger Rowland, 23, was being arraigned on murder and other charges Saturday morning.

Rowland is one of four suspects in the robbery and shooting death of Chunsey Cunningham, 24, which took place in the parking lot of Skateland USA on US 29 in the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 20, according to Police. Tilley said a woman was also shot, but is expected to survive.

Family members of the female victim were present during Rowland's arraignment, Tilley said.

"Family members told police Rowland looked over at them and smirked," Tilley said. "It just set the one man off."

Tilley said one of the family members lunged at the suspect, but officers quickly intervened and rushed the man out of the courtroom.

"It was an extremely emotional time for the family," Tilley said. "It's always tense when family members are dealing with violence against a loved one."

Tilley said the man who lunged at Rowland will not face any charges.

Rowland will be held in the Anderson County Detention Center until he sees a circuit judge for a bond hearing, Tilley said.

Rowland is charged with murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, conspiracy to commit murder and three counts of attempted murder, according to warrants.

Michaela Christensen and Christian Lopez, both 19, face the same set of charges. Christensen turned herself in and was arraigned on Friday, Tilley said. Lopez was arrested on Wednesday.

Tilley said a fourth suspect turned himself in on Saturday and is now in custody at the Anderson Police Department. Shawn Johnson, 17, was wanted on several charges, including murder. Tilley said Johnson will be arraigned sometime on Sunday.

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