COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC & AP) - A gang member faces life in prison for his role in a Walterboro drive-by shooting that killed three people, including a 20-month-old toddler.
A Beaufort County jury found 27-year-old Hascale Jervon Simmons, also known as "Perlo", guilty of criminal conspiracy, murder, and assault and battery with intent to kill on Thursday. Judge Carmen Mullen sentenced Simmons, of Walterboro, to 5 years for the conspiracy charge, 20 years for the assault and battery charge, and life imprisonment for murder.
The deadly shooting took the lives of Shaniyah Burden, who was only 20 months old, 21-year-old Christopher Powell and 45-year-old Charles Kittrell.
Relatives said the victims were playing cards on Nov. 9, 2009 in the front yard of a small bungalow when a car pulled up and opened fire. The baby's mother was shot but survived, unsuccessfully using her own body to shield her child.
20 Colleton County individuals in all were indicted back in June of 2010, when the shooting occurred.
Authorities says Simmons is the first person convicted in the case.The case was moved from Colleton County to Beaufort County for the trial.