WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - A man who robbed a woman of her car then intimidated his accomplice not to testify has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson announced on Thursday that Devante Antonio Grant was convicted of armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Grant was arrested in connection to an incident on Jan. 26, 2016 when he and his accomplice, Savon Chisolm, were involved in robbing an employee at the Sub Station II in West Ashley, according to the Ninth Solicitor's Office.
As the employee got into her car, Grant banged on the window with a gun, yelled threats at her and ordered her out of the car.
"He pointed the gun at her as she left the car," prosecutors said.
A release states Grant then jumped into the driver seat, and Chisolm got into the passenger seat.
"The victim later positively identified defendant Grant as the armed robber," prosecutors said.
According to the solicitor's office, Grant wrote an intimidating letter to Chisolm as "part of a blatant attempt to keep" him from testifying against Grant.
Authorities say they attempted to get a handwriting sample from Grant, but he attempted to disguise his handwriting.
Prosecutors say they were eventually able to get a proper sample at which point Grant became angry, threw down his pen and cursed at the investigator.
"Despite the Defendant's antics, a SLED handwriting analyst was able to tie the letter to Grant,"officials with the Ninth Solicitor's Office said."In addition, Grant could also be heard on recordings trying to get his associates to get Chisolm to change his story."
Authorities say at trial, Chisolm, who had already pleaded guilty to the armed robbery, was called to the stand by the State.
According to prosecutors, Chisolm refused to testify, indicating Grant's intimidation worked.
Authorities say evidence at trial also revealed that Grant had tasked an associate with destroying Facebook evidence linking Grant to the crime.
"At sentencing, the Court was made aware that Devante Grant had already been adjudicated for an Armed Robbery in 2014 for robbing a Chinese restaurant deliveryman at gunpoint while the deliveryman was delivering food," prosecutors said.
Grant also has been validated by the Charleston County Detention Center as a known "Blood" gang member; the Charleston County Detention Center determines gang involvement and affiliation by using criteria set by SLED.
Assistant Solicitor Richard Waring, who prosecuted the case, stated "With the help of the Charleston Police Department, North Charleston Police Department, and SLED, a dangerous armed robber was held accountable for his actions."
Assisting Waring were Assistant Solicitor David Osborne and Investigator Dan Eckert.