NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 57-year-old man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for fatally shooting a man over discarded beer.
The Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office says a Charleston County jury found Vaughn Hilliard guilty of murder for the 2013 killing of Troy Cason.
The jury returned it's verdict after a two-day trial.
According to Assistant Solicitors Culver Kidd and Richard Waring, the Sept. 7, 2013 incident started over something trivial: the pouring of beer near Hilliard's property line.
"The silly argument turned deadly when the Defendant retrieved a .22 caliber rifle from inside his residence and shot the victim through a six foot fence topped with barbed wire,"read a statement from prosecutors."The victim died of his wound approximately 30 hours later in the hospital at MUSC."
Assistant Solicitor Kidd stated, "Hilliard admitted to the shooting at trial but claimed self-defense. Our verdict shows the jury did not buy the defendant's version of events. Obviously, shooting an unarmed man from behind a fence is not worthy of protection under the Castle Doctrine or any theory of self-defense."
A witness said she was able to get Cason into a car before he lost consciousness, and drove him to Roper Hospital. Cason was then transferred to MUSC where he later died.