Guilty plea results in 30-year sentence

by | October 11, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: October 10, 2018 at 10:25 am

A Walterboro man was sentenced to 30 years in prison when he appeared in Colleton County General Sessions Court in connection with a Jan. 19, 2017 armed robbery.
William M. Deguzman, 35, of Walterboro appeared before visiting Circuit Court Judge Jennifer McCoy last week on charges of armed robbery and second-degree burglary.
After Deguzman pled on the two charges, Judge McCoy sentenced him to 30 years in prison on the armed robbery charge. The guilty plea on the second-degree burglary charge resulted in a 15-year prison term that would be served concurrently.
Deguzman initially faced eight charges in connection with the armed robbery and burglary of a resident of Mount Carmel Road in Smoaks. The six other charges were dismissed by the solicitor’s office as part of the plea agreement.
His accomplice, Samantha Stewart, 26, of Walterboro, was sentenced to five years in prison on an armed robbery charge after she pled guilty in a court appearance on July 31, 2017. Seven additional charges were dismissed in her agreement.
On the afternoon of Jan. 19, 2017, the female resident of a Smoaks home called the emergency dispatch office to report that she had just been robbed at gunpoint.
She told dispatchers that when she arrived home from a shopping trip, she found several suspects at her home. They initially said they were looking for someone who had sold them a dog.
Then one of the suspects pulled a handgun and demanded the woman’s purse and cell phone, she told dispatchers.
The suspects ran to a small red vehicle parked in her yard. The female suspect got into the driver’s seat and drove off with the male suspect in the passenger seat. The woman ran inside and called 911.
The first deputy arriving at the home attempted to calm the woman down while they waited for detectives to arrive.
The woman’s initial call resulted in a large number of deputies flooding into the area to begin a search for the red vehicle used in the get-away.
One deputy began driving toward the incident location on Mount Carmel Road.
Near the intersection of Mount Carmel Road and McLeod Road, the deputy spotted a small red car coming in his direction. A woman was driving with a male in the passenger seat.
The deputy drove past the red car, turning around as its driver turned left onto McLeod Road.
When the deputy turned onto McLeod Road he saw a black bag on the road’s shoulder that appeared to have been dropped there recently.
He radioed in the location of the bag to dispatch as he continued to trail the suspect’s vehicle. When another officer caught up with the trailing deputy, they conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle on McLeod Road near the I-95 interchange.
The female driver was told to exit the vehicle and handcuffed. During questioning, she told the officer that the gun was in the car.
The passenger was then ordered out of the car and detained.
The driver told the officers that the handgun could be found underneath the drivers seat.
The checkbook belonging to the victim was found on the floorboard.

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