Christopher Shavone Williams, age 19, of Newberry, was sentenced to 30 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections Thursday afternoon after pleading guilty to several charges arising from the shooting death of Leon Wright, age 64, in his home on Dave Cole Road in the Blair community Saturday night, July 23, 2011.
Wright was the proprietor of a store near his home and left the store for home Saturday night.
A relative of Wright rode by his home later that night and noticed the front door open.
The same relative rode by again Sunday morning, and the door was still open. He called Wright’s sister, who lived next door to Wright, who found Wright shot to death inside his home. Wright died from a single gunshot wound to his chest.
The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the State Law Enforcement Division and the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, launched an intensive investigation which resulted in the arrests of Williams and seven codefendants over the next several days.
Half of the defendants are residents of Fairfield County, and the others live in Newberry County.
The investigation revealed that the defendants intended to rob another person they expected to be at Wright’s store but targeted Wright when the other person did not arrive after they observed Wright leaving his store for the night.
The defendants followed Wright to his home in the Ford Expedition of one of them and parked nearby. Defendants approached Wright’s home on foot, knocked on the door and then kicked the door open.
Williams was armed with a 7.62 millimeter assault rifle, and a codefendant was armed with a small caliber revolver.
Both entered the home but were confronted by Wright, who had armed himself with a shotgun, which was not loaded.
Both Williams and the other armed codefendant fired their weapons, and Wright was struck in the chest by a bullet.
Nothing was taken from Wright or his home.
The assault rifle was recovered by investigators from the automobile of one of the defendants.
Williams was charged with and pled guilty to Murder, Burglary First Degree, Attempted Armed Robbery, and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery.
He received concurrent sentences of 30 years, 30 years, 20 years, and five years, respectively, on those charges.
Williams will be required to serve every day of the 30-year sentence on the Murder conviction, although he will receive credit for the time he has spent in the Fairfield County Detention Center since his arrest a few days after the shooting.
The charges against Willliams’ codefendants are pending.
Williams was defended by Columbia attorney Charlie Jay Johnson, Jr. The case was prosecuted by Solicitor Doug Barfield. Judge Paul M. Burch of Chesterfield County presided.