Update: Man sentenced to 40 years for murder
by The Press and Standard | June 28, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: June 27, 2018 at 10:47 am
A Colleton County General Sessions jury took little time in finding a Walterboro resident guilty of murder, attempted murder and two other charges the afternoon of June 20.
Andre Crawford, 25, had been charged with murder, attempted murder, obstruction of justice and possession of a weapon in the commission of a violent crime in connection with the shooting of two security guards at Club Leon at 8150 Round O Road in Round O on the morning of May 28, 2016.
The shooting resulted in the death of Jesse Guy of Dorchester and the wounding of Bruce Anthony Martin of North Charleston.
The case, presented to the jury by Tameaka A. Legette, career criminal prosecutor for the 14th Circuit Court Prosecutor’s Office, and Matthew Walker of the Colleton County Public Defender’s Office, went to the jury Wednesday at 4:58 p.m. The jury returned with its verdict at 6:18 p.m.
Legette called 19 prosecution witnesses to the stand during the two-day trial.
Among the witnesses was Martin, who identified Crawford as the man who had shot him.
Crawford was initially set for trial in December of last year but the proceedings were delayed so Martin could have the bullet the defendant fired at him removed from his body.
The shot tore across his body and similar wounds often prove fatal, Legette said. When surgeons operated on Martin in the immediate aftermath of his shooting, they found the bullet precariously lodged against his liver and decided to leave it where it was.
Over time, however, the bullet moved to a position where it could be safely removed, Legette said.
Although the murder weapon was never recovered, analysts at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division lab confirmed the bullet taken from Martin’s body was fired from the same gun as the bullet that struck and killed Guy.
Following the jury verdict of guilty on all counts, Legette and Walker offered comments during the sentencing phase.
Legette, in her presentation to 14th District Court Judge Perry Buckner, provided the judge a letter from Guy’s young daughter, asking for a lengthy prison term “so another child doesn’t have to know how I feel.”
Buckner then ordered Crawford to spend 40 years in prison.
On the murder charge, Crawford sentenced to 35 years with concurrent prison terms on the obstruction of justice and attempted murder charges.
Crawford’s amount of time in prison climbed to 40 years when Judge Buckner ordered that the five years Crawford faced on the possession of a weapon in the commission of a violent crime be served concurrently.
“This verdict is what God has made. I really believe that,” said Legette. “Andre Crawford’s time has come for all the things that he has done to so many people.”
In December of 2011, a jury found Crawford not guilty in another murder case.
He and a Summerville man were charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of a weapon in the commission of violent crime in connection with the Aug. 14, 2010 death of a Summerville woman and the wounding of a Ladson man.
The two victims were shot multiple times while sitting in their vehicle on Old Fox Cemetery Road.
The juries, following Crawford’s December 2011 trial and the trial of the Summerville suspect in January of 2012, determined that there was not enough evidence to prove their guilt.
But last week’s trial had a different outcome.
Law enforcement officers called to the stand last week detailed how members of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and Colleton County Fire-Rescue were dispatched to Club Leon on May 28, 2016 at 3:27 a.m.
Deputies reported that Guy had been shot in the back and was found lying across the rear of a vehicle in the nightclub’s parking area.
Martin was found face down on the roadway.
Both men were transported to the Trauma Unit of Trident Medical Center in North Charleston, where Guy was pronounced dead.
Deputies working at the crime scene received little in the way of information about the shooting.
However, in the days following the shooting, the sheriff’s office received an anonymous call providing information.
The caller identified the shooter as Crawford. The two security guards had been involved in a dispute with Crawford’s brother and had tased him in the struggle, the caller said. Then Andre Crawford shot them.