CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A 26-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison for a home invasion that ended in a shootout in Ravenel.
On Thursday, a Charleston County jury found Akeem O'Mar Smith guilty of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, kidnapping and armed robbery for the 2010 home invasion.
It all started on Oct. 2, 2010, when the female victim returned home and was met outside by two men. When the two demanded money, the victim tried to run to the house but was struck in the head with a pistol and forced inside her home at gunpoint.
Once inside, one of the men held her at gunpoint while the other ransacked the home looking for more money. One of the men demanded that the victim "take off her clothes and put a pillowcase on her head," according to her testimony.
Meanwhile, the woman's husband returned home from work. The husband encountered a third man standing lookout at the front of his house. He engaged the man and the unknown man ran.
The husband then noticed a box of diapers in the yard and knew something was wrong. He retrieved a .357 from the glove box of his wife's car and entered the residence.
One of the men was in the bedroom with the woman and the other was in the living area. The man in the living area opened fire on the husband with a .45 and the husband returned fire.
As the pair exchanged gunfire through a wall in the home the husband was shot in the hip.
As the man from the bedroom area fled toward the living area, the woman grabbed her .380 firearm from the home and shot at him.
Both assailants fled the home through a bay window at the opposite end of the home leaving blood on the glass. The blood was collected and matched the DNA profile of the defendant, Akeem Smith.
Assistant Solicitor, Timmy Finch, said that the believability of the victims' accounts and
the strength of the DNA evidence convinced the jury of Smith's guilt.
"The DNA evidence put him there. The victim's story was supported by circumstantial forensic
evidence. In crimes like this it takes a lot of bravery for the victims to come forward and
participate. Their strength to put their story out there helped our office take a violent
criminal off the streets."