ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — A former county council member and ex-South Carolina state trooper has been granted bail again despite facing charges of sexually abusing girls in two counties and federal charges of lying while trying to buy a gun in December. Ex-Bamberg County Councilman Kerry Trent Kinard remains jailed for now pending a federal hearing. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of sex abuse in Bamberg County. Now he’s also charged in Jasper County, where a woman says she was 16 when Kinard abused her. Defense attorney Bakari Sellers says Kinard is innocent, but was “stupid” to deny facing felonies while trying to buy a gun.
“I don’t have that killer (instinct) inside,” MacDonald said. “It takes a certain spirit to come in here and put a man through pain. I don’t know if I have that same drive to hurt people anymore.”Join DAZN to watch Bellator 222: United States | CanadaIt sounded as if was going to retire right there and then, when he added: “I have to get out of here and re-evaluate. We’ll see what happens.”That was in the wee hours of April 28. Since then, MacDonald claims he has gotten the clarity needed to continue fighting. The Canadian looks to defend his title against Neiman Gracie during the semifinal of the Welterweight Grand Prix in the main event of Bellator 222 at Madison Square Garden on Friday, live on DAZN. The winner advances to face Douglas Lima in the final for $1 million from rap mogul 50 Cent.So, what changed in roughly seven weeks that allowed MacDonald to continue his MMA career?“I just got clarity that I have a huge platform to reach a lot of people to speak about the Lord to give me comfort in knowing that what I’m doing is for a good purpose,” MacDonald told Sporting News during the media day for Bellator 222 at MSG. “My life has changed a lot in the last few years. Just everything changing in my life so much, just trying to get clarity on everything because life moves so fast. So, I took some time to think about it and get clarity on the situation.”“I think it’s important to address these things,” he continued, imploring others in any field of work to do the same. “It’s a huge thing. It’s how I support my family, it’s my career, it’s all I really know what to do in my life. But there has been a lot of changes, so just to re-evaluate things and put things in perspective.”Looking back on the post-fight interview from Bellator 220 in April, MacDonald believes his attempt to convey where he was in his life might have been overshadowed by his raw emotion in the moment.“Everything happening so fast in my life, so many changes, trying to adjust into what I’ve done for my whole life, which is fighting,” he said, “so I’m just trying to figure it all out and sometimes it doesn’t come out properly during a fight interview.”But he definitely appreciates the outpouring of support that he received on social media for his honest comments.“I think people appreciate an honest statement that comes from the heart,” he said. “I think people can relate to a real statement.”Those “people” include Neiman Gracie.“I respect that,” Gracie told SN of MacDonald’s comments. “I always tell people that fighting in the cage is no joke. If he doesn’t feel like doing it anymore, I respect it, but I think he still does.”MORE: Bellator 220: Start time, price, how to watchOf course, Gracie is going to test that feeling to make sure, already predicting a submission victory to become the new Bellator welterweight champion. MacDonald is confident his own ground game will prevent such an outcome.“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” MacDonald said. “I feel very confident with my jiu-jitsu and will try to keep the fight out of his strengths.”With a win over Gracie, MacDonald will face the man he defeated by decision to win the welterweight title — Douglas Lima. He thinks it will be a different scrap this time. NEW YORK — Rory MacDonald stood in the cage at Bellator 220 in April fresh off a disappointing majority draw against Jon Fitch — whom many projected would succumb to “The Red King” — looking very much like a man in search of answers.What the 29-year-old Bellator welterweight champion said next only amplified those feelings. “I think he’s more confident and he’s been working hard,” MacDonald said. “It’s a hard fight. Douglas brings it. I think he’s really hungry right now. I have to be on point and be at my best. It will be a hard fight, but I’ll be ready for it.”If MacDonald can make it a convincing victory over Gracie, he may also quell critics’ — and his own — lingering questions about continuing his MMA career.Either way, we know MacDonald is going to be honest about it.