Man sentenced in killing of wife, pregnant stepdaughter

A man pleaded guilty to the 2019 killing of his wife and pregnant stepdaughter on Friday.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 10:22 AM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2023 at 1:54 PM EDT

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A man pleaded guilty to the 2019 killing of his wife and pregnant stepdaughter on Friday.

In a Berkeley County courtroom, Anthony Gathers pleaded guilty to all charges related to the killings. Those charges include two counts of murder and one count of death or bodily injury to a child in utero during the commission of a violent crime.

Judge Bentley Price sentenced Anthony to 35 years in prison. The defense asked the judge for that sentence instead of a life sentence to provide a “glimmer of hope” for Anthony.

After viewing photos and reading reports of the incident, Price called the crime “horrific” and says he is glad the families did not have to go through a trial.

Anthony was arrested in the Nov. 11, 2019, killings of 38-year-old Lorice Gathers and 22-year-old Shanique Hills after calling 911 on himself.

Court records state that Anthony told investigators that he discovered text messages between his wife and ex-boyfriend. Assistant Solicitor Kamila Szymczynska-Sas says Anthony and Lorice’s relationship was based on “jealousy and verbal abuse, a vicious cycle of domestic violence.”

Authorities say Anthony then armed himself with a knife and attacked his wife and stepdaughter, who was 30-34 weeks pregnant in her third trimester.

Szymczynska-Sas says Anthony stabbed Lorice 17 times and stabbed Hills 15 times.

Hills’ unborn child died in the incident.

Anthony and Lorice’s four-year-old child, who was not hurt, saw the bloody scene and saw both bodies lying in the driveway, Szymczynska-Sas says.

Ashley Bennington, Gathers’ lawyer, says the crime was of heat, passion and rage provoked by betrayal.