NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A North Charleston man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing his cousin whose body was found in a burned home.
Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson announced that 38-year-old Gregory Kyle Green was convicted by a Charleston County jury on Thursday of murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Green’s conviction stems from an investigation where emergency crews responded to a house fire on Bailey Drive on the early morning hours of June 8, 2017. When firefighters extinguished the fire they found Freeman Rivers’ body in a bathtub.
Prosecutors say the victim had a cord wrapped around his neck and had suffered four gunshot wounds to the head.
“A subsequent investigation by the NCPD determined that the victim had owed Green money for drugs,” NCPD officials said.
According to the solicitor’s office, at trial, a cooperating co-defendant testified that Green had called and asked to be picked up from the victim’s home.
A report states that when the co-defendant arrived, Green came out of the victim’s house with blood on him and carrying a gun.
“Green and the co-defendant returned to the home and determined to set the house on fire to destroy evidence of the crime,” the solicitor’s office said."Other witnesses testifying at the trial corroborated the co-defendant’s story and timeline."
Prosecutors said phone records showed that the defendant and co-defendant had been in communication around the time of the victim’s murder and that the victim had been in communication with Green just prior to his death.
“Subsequent to his arrest phone calls made by Green from the jail were intercepted and introduced at trial,” the solicitor’s office said."In these calls Green attempted to hire individuals to kill the co-defendant who had implicated him in the murder."
The jury deliberated for four hours before rendering their verdict.
Judge Perry M. Buckner sentenced Green to 40 years for murder and 5 years for possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime to be served concurrently.
Green was found not guilty of a related arson charge, according to the solicitor’s office.