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SLED task force had been searching for teen now accused of Lake City murder for months

Deonandre Jaquez Wright (Lake City police. WPDE background)

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s (SLED) fugitive task force had been searching for 18-year-old Deonandre Jaquez Wright for months after he walked off from a medical facility back in November, according to SLED Public Information Officer Thom Berry.

Wright is now charged in connection with the murder of 75-year-old Roger Brennan Thursday night on Samuel Street in Lake City, according to Lake City Police Public Information Officer Amy Pringle.

Officials with the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice told us Wright was transferred from their custody to that of the S.C. Department of Mental Health (DMH) more than a year ago.

ABC15 News contacted DMH to determine if Wright was in their custody when he walked away from the medical facility.

The department’s public information director Tracy LaPointe said due to state and federal privacy laws governing protected health information, DMH cannot comment on specific individual cases.

LaPointe did release the following statement from DMH Deputy Director Mark W. Binkley about the policies for the department:

“DMH can confirm that in situations in which the Department of Mental Health (DMH) is coordinating the provision of mental health treatment in a residential setting to a juvenile with a serious mental illness who is committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice, should that juvenile elope from the residential facility, the DMH Office of Public Safety is to be immediately notified by the facility. DMH Public Safety will immediately enter the juvenile’s information and the circumstances of the elopement into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) data base, an electronic clearinghouse of crime data that is available to every law enforcement agency nationwide. DMH Public Safety will also notify the local law enforcement agency where the treatment facility is located as well as DJJ’s Public Safety Department.”

We'll continue to bring you updates on this case as they come in.

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