South Carolina fourteenth circuit solicitor Duffie Stone scored a major victory in a high-profile murder case when a jury in Beaufort County returned a guilty verdict against one of the individuals charged in connection with the 2021 murder of Bluffton High school student-athlete D’won Fields Jr.
The guilty verdict against Ty’Leic Chaneyfield, 21, of Ridgeland, S.C., was handed down on Monday (October 2, 2023) after extensive deliberation by the jury – who received the case last week.
To recap: Fields was shot and killed on the evening of March 5, 2021 in Bluffton, S.C. – just two months shy of his graduation. Bluffton police were dispatched to the scene of a single-car crash between Bluffton Parkway and Hampton Parkway that night, only to discover upon arrival the vehicle had been involved in a shooting.
Fields, 18, died at the scene of wounds sustained in the shooting. Edwin Graham, who was also in the vehicle, sustained a gunshot wound to the face but survived. Graham spent ten days in a local hospital. A third passenger, Kylan Simmons, was also injured after Fields lost control of the vehicle and crashed.
Fields father – D’won Fields Sr. – was among the first on the scene in the aftermath of the crash.
“I have flashes of my son on the side of the road covered up,” he said during an emotional December 2021 court hearing. “Because that is what I saw. I was there even before police got there, so I saw my baby like that. That is nothing that no one should ever have to see – their baby covered up with a white sheet like that.”
It was only after the shooting investigators learned Chaneyfield and his co-conspirators had targeted the wrong vehicle.
“These three people had no idea why they were being shot at,” Stone said during the trial.
“They went hunting and got the wrong people,” Stone added, referring to Chaneyfield and his co-conspirators.
Multiple other cases against defendants accused in connection with this shooting are ongoing … including charges against an unnamed juvenile. That individual – who is currently housed at the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) – has been charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder, and two counts of assault and battery by a mob.
Previously, 21-year-old Jimmie Green of Hardeeville, S.C. was sentenced to forty years in prison by former S.C. circuit court judge David Craig Brown after pleading guilty to murder for his role in the shooting. Green’s sentence is “day-for-day,” meaning he is not eligible to be released early … although in South Carolina, “mandatory minimums” are obviously not all they are cracked up to be.
Hopefully they will be in this case.
Which reminds us, stay tuned for news on Chaneyfield’s sentencing …
“Despite his short time on earth, DJ was loved and brought immense joy to those around him,” Fields’ obituary noted. “(He) loved life and loved helping people anyway he could. He always had a smile on his face.”
Stone has stressed the need to secure justice for Fields’ family … meaning all those involved in the shooting must be held accountable.
In addition to Green, Chaneyfield and the unnamed juvenile, 20-year-old Shayniah Void of Orangeburg, S.C. is facing second- and third-degree assault and battery by mob in connection with the shooting. Her brother, 20-year-old Jayden Lamont Void of Bluffton, S.C., is facing charges of first-, second- and third-degree assault and battery by mob.
As with anyone accused of committing any crime, these remaining defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as they may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges filed against them.
The investigation into the shooting has been led by the Bluffton, S.C. police department with support from the Beaufort County sheriff’s office, the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the Jasper County sheriff’s office, and the Hardeeville, S.C. police department.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
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