Orangeburg man sentenced to life for drug-related murder

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) – An Orangeburg man was sentenced late Thursday afternoon in federal court after being convicted in a drug-related murder and several other felony drug charges.

Sigmund James, 35, of Orangeburg, was convicted of the drug-related murder of Vance Davis. He was also convicted of 25 felony counts of conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine and conspiracy to launder proceeds of drug trafficking in December of 2009. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Evidence presented at the trial and the sentencing hearing established that James conspired with several other people in Orangeburg and Columbia to distribute more than 90 kilograms of powder cocaine and more than 400 grams of crack cocaine in Orangeburg from September 2001 until February 2009.

Evidence at trial also established that James conspired with his girlfriend and family members to launder the proceeds of his drug trafficking business.

On Thursday afternoon, Captain Rhonda Bamberg of the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office testified about the 2004 shooting death of Vance Davis. He testified that Davis' body was found on Bruin Parkway near Roosevelt Gardens apartment complex in Orangeburg around midnight on July 14, 2004.

He testified that the victim's cell phone was recovered at the scene and the cell phone indicated Davis had calls to and from "Sig." Cell phone records indicated that James was the last person to have contact with the victim Davis around 11:50 p.m., 20 minutes before deputies discovered Davis' body.

Autopsy records indicated that Davis had been shot five times, including shots to the head, back, arms and chest. Finally, two cooperating codefendants who had plead guilty to drug conspiracy charges, testified that James confessed to them several days after the murder that he had shot and killed Davis.

The federal drug case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office, the Richland County Sheriff's Office, and the Lexington County Sheriff's Office.

The murder investigation was investigated by the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.

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