Walterboro man gets 35 years in prison for 2018 murder

Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 5:10 PM EDT
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WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - A Walterboro man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for a shooting in 2018 that killed a 24-year-old man.

The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office announced on Wednesday that 45-year-old Jermaine Silas White was found guilty of murder in the killing of Lennon Lee Poland.

A jury of eight men and four women also convicted White of possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime. He received a five-year sentence for that offense, which will run concurrently.

“Jermaine White rushed Mr. Poland and shot him without provocation,” said Reed Evans of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Mr. Poland’s death was savage and calculated, and the defendant got the verdict he deserved.”

Poland was sitting with friends on the afternoon of July 15, 2018 at a popular hangout spot on Francis Street. Prosecutors said White ran out of a wooded area nearby, pointed a gun at the back of Poland’s head and shot him behind the right ear.

White fled on foot to a car he had parked a short distance away, and drove off as Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and Walterboro Police officers were arriving.

According to the solicitor’s office, Poland, who was still conscious, and another witness to the shooting identified White by name to Walterboro officers.

A report states that dashcam footage recorded by a responding officer captured a gold Oldsmobile that White had borrowed from a friend earlier in the day as he drove it away from the scene.

Authorities also reported recovering a shell casing just feet from where Poland had been sitting.

“It matched a firearm later recovered from White’s home,” the solicitor’s office said. “An attempted-murder charge against White was upgraded nine days later after Poland died of the gunshot wound.”

Prosecutors said White’s criminal history dates to 1993.

“It includes convictions for burglary (1994), possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (1997), carjacking and armed robbery (2001), felon in possession of a weapon (2004), and failure to stop for a blue light (2014),” the solicitor’s office said. “The jury needed only about 20 minutes to reach a verdict. "

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