Walterboro man who shot ex-girlfriend dead in parking lot found guilty


WALTERBORO, S.C. (April 24, 2024) – A Walterboro man who shot his ex-girlfriend to death while out on bail for a charge of domestic violence against her has been sent to prison.

A Colleton County General Sessions Court jury found Justin Cole Carroll, 24, guilty Wednesday of the 2021 murder of Donasia Alexus Holloway. Carroll was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

“Donasia tried to end this toxic relationship, and she tried to protect herself from her ex-boyfriend’s jealous rage,” said Hunter Swanson of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “But Justin Carroll refused to take no for an answer. He ignored a no-contact order, stalked her and killed her.”

Holloway and Carroll dated several months, but she ended the relationship after he was charged in a domestic assault against her in January 2021. A judge ordered Carroll to have no contact with Holloway. However, as she was returning home from a beach vacation shortly after 10 p.m. on May 22, 2021, Carroll followed her into her into the parking lot of the Forest Point Apartment complex, where she lived.

Noticing Carroll’s truck behind her and fearing for her safety, Holloway parked next to a Walterboro Police Department cruiser assigned to a neighbor in the complex. She locked herself inside her silver Lexus, then made a short video post to Snapchat, in which she said Carroll’s behavior “has to stop.” The video showed her ex-boyfriend approaching the vehicle.

Apartment security cameras also captured Carroll walking toward the car just before multiple gunshots were fired. The officer who lived in the complex heard the shots and went outside. He found Holloway dead in the front seat. She was shot four times with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, suffering wounds to her head and neck.

Witnesses reported seeing a man running away from the area immediately after the gunfire and driving away in a pickup truck.

Carroll was located by Walterboro Police and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office within hours of the murder and initially agreed to an interview. He claimed he was in Charleston that evening, but as investigators’ questions became more specific, Carroll ended the interview and said he would not answer further questions without a lawyer.

A search of Carroll’s vehicle produced no weapon. At the time, authorities lacked sufficient evidence to charge Carroll, and he was released.

However, Carroll was arrested two days later after discovering the Snapchat video on Holloway’s phone. Laboratory tests conducted at the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division also revealed Carroll had gunshot residue on his right hand, and an analysis of his cellphone indicated it had been wiped clean shortly after the murder. Investigators also noticed Carroll had attempted to change his appearance by shaving his head.

Swanson called 16 witnesses during three days of testimony at the Colleton County Courthouse.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Bonds handed down the sentence.

Carroll’s criminal history includes a 2016 conviction in Charleston for first-degree assault and battery. He received eight years’ probation, which was revoked after he was arrested and convicted of unlawful carry of a pistol and possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to three years in prison and had recently been released when he and Holloway became involved.

Swanson is the leader of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Special Victims Unit, which prosecutes cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and other crimes against vulnerable populations. She also is a member of the Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most violent and habitual offenders. That team has earned convictions against 488 of 533 defendants it has prosecuted since its formation in 2009.