Judge grants Williamsburg man new trial in 2009 murder case

Judge grants Williamsburg man new trial in 2009 murder case
Levern McCrea (Source: Williamsburg County Sheriff's Office)

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Williamsburg County man sentenced to life in prison in 2011 in the shooting death of of a Hemingway woman will receive a new trial.

A judge ruled in November 2019 that Levern McCrea should receive a retrial on the grounds that he was “not adequately warned” of the dangers of representing himself at his trial.

McCrea had been sentenced in connection to the March 2009 shooting death of 54-year-old Cora Brown. Her body was found in her Hemingway home where she had been shot three times in the head.

Williamsburg County deputies said they received a tip in March 2010 that McCrea had been involved.

During the trial, McCrea was convicted of murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

McCrea later filed a petition to the court for post-conviction relief seeking a retrial. Court documents state McCrea fired his first attorney, then petitioned the court to relieve his court-appointed attorney, and then the second court-appointed attorney filed a request to be relieved as his attorney on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.”

The court initially rejected that attorney’s request, telling McCrea that if he continued “his course of conduct,” the court would have to relieve the attorney and require McCrea to proceed without the attorney, documents state.

McCrea represented himself during a jury trial and was convicted, then filed an appeal on the conviction, documents state.

McCrea also claimed his rights were violated because he was “shackled” during his trial and that prosecutors did not provide him with evidence he should have received. The judge, in granting a retrial, said that McCrea “failed to establish any constitutional violations or deprivations.”

McCrea was being held in Williamsburg County awaiting a retrial, the court order states.

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