Ruffin man gets 20 years
by The Press and Standard | June 27, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: June 26, 2019 at 2:29 pm
A Ruffin man learned that he will be spending two decades behind bars after a Colleton County General Sessions jury found him guilty on two charges last week.
Kelvin Gant, 30, of Ruffin was charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon in the commission of a violent crime. The charges stemmed from a shooting incident in a small parking lot on Smyly Road in Ruffin on the evening of June 24, 2017.
After hearing the guilty verdicts following the two-day trial, visiting Circuit Court Judge Steven H. John sentenced Gant to 20 years in prison on the attempted murder charge and a concurrent five-year prison term for the possession of a weapon in the commission of a violent crime. Gant was given credit for 278 days he spent in the detention center.
“This defendant shot at a man he had known since he was a little boy,” said Ceth Utsey of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “The victim forced himself to stay awake after being shot. And this week, the victim was able to tell the jury the truth about what had happened to him. Ruffin is a small, tightknit community and now it is a safer place following today’s conviction.”
Around 11:30 p.m. on June 24, 2017, a man who was leaning against a car outside a well-known shop and hangout was shot twice. Armed with a .45-caliber handgun, Gant came out of the bushes and fired the gun from five feet away, striking the man’s left side and abdomen. Gant fired his gun and walked away.
In the initial incident report, the 54-year-old shooting victim told deputies Gant began shouting at him, reportedly about the victim contacting law enforcement in connection with an earlier incident — a shot-fired call received at 9:28 p.m.
People in the area told deputies sent to the area for the first call that they heard the shots but had not seen the shooters. A search of the area reportedly found 10 shell casings from a 9 mm handgun in the 600 block of Smyly Road and 10 shell casings from a .40 caliber weapon near the intersection of Smyly Road and Cricket Lane.
After the victim reportedly named his attacker, investigators began the search for Gant.
Gant was arrested by members of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office on charges of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime on the afternoon of June 26, 2017. He was apprehended in a room at the Southern Inn at 1630 Bells Highway.