A Charleston, South Carolina man will spend the next three decades behind bars after being convicted for murdering a Lowcountry teenager – and wounding a bystander in the neighborhood where the shooting took place.
In a news release issued earlier this week, S.C. ninth circuit solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced that 21-year-old Alonza Donta Marable, Jr., of North Charleston, S.C. had been found guilty of murder and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. An attempted murder charged had also been pursued against Marable, but jurors found him not guilty of that crime.
These verdicts were returned late last Thursday evening following a week-long trial. Marable had previously been convicted of unlawfully carrying a pistol.
S.C. circuit court judge Deadra Jefferson sentenced Marable to thirty years in prison – the minimum sentence for murder in the Palmetto State. Well … that’s the minimum sentence unless Marable benefits from some extralegal judicial leniency – a growing problem in South Carolina.
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Wilson praised her prosecutorial team, local law enforcement and members of the community where the shooting took place more than three years ago.
“With the grit of the North Charleston police department and the help of the Ferndale community, we were able to put up a compelling case,” she said in her statement. “In situations like this, the hand of one truly is the hand of all.”
The shooting unfolded at approximately 11:18 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Marable, who was eighteen years old at the time, and his juvenile co-defendant (who was fifteen at the time) unleashed a hail of gunfire in the Ferndale mobile home park in North Charleston. Marable was armed with a semi-automatic rifle – his codefendant with a handgun.
Sixteen-year-old Lanelle Reed Jr. was shot and killed outside his home. He sustained a gunshot wound to the back of his head and “died on the scene, right in front of his home,” according to the release.
Meanwhile, a stray bullet from Marable’s rifle struck a nearby neighbor in the head while he was asleep inside his residence. Thankfully, the neighbor suffered only minor injuries. Before the attack, Marable and the co-defendant had circled the mobile home park in search of Reed. Video surveillance and witness testimony demonstrated Marable’s car had been driving back and forth in the neighborhood before he and his codefendant ambushed Reed and one of his friends as they approached the home.
Reed’s friend escaped unhurt.
While police concluded the juvenile codefendant fired the shot that ultimately killed, Reed was described as the “architect” and “instigator” of the attack.
“Marable was the architect of this entire incident: he drove the car as they stalked and hunted the Victim; he provided the weapons and ammunition used in the shooting, and, as he was three years older than his juvenile co-defendant, Marable clearly influenced the younger codefendant,” said assistant Daniel W. Cooper, one of the lead prosecutors on the case. “This violence would not have occurred without Marable instigating it, and the jury recognized that fact.”
Marable’s juvenile co-defendant previously pled guilty in family court to murder and assault & battery of a high and aggravated nature prior to the trial.
Cooper and fellow assistant solicitor Kelly Barber prosecuted the case for Wilson’s office. Investigator John Wilhelm assisted in the prosecution. Cooper also singled out North Charleston detective David Pritchard for his efforts on the case, saying “these convictions wouldn’t have happened without (his) tireless work.”
THE RELEASE …
(Via: S.C. Ninth Circuit Solicitor)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at email@example.com.
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