Two execution-style murders in Lexington County lead to life in jail for SC man

South Carolina man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of a double murder execution type in Lexington Countythe 11th Circuit prosecutor’s office said.

In addition to two murder charges, Damien Lavar Ritter, 28, of Estill was also convicted of attempted murder, kidnapping and armed robbery, the law firm said in a press release.

The jury deliberated for only about 45 minutes on Monday before returning with the guilty verdicts, the statement said.

Judge Frank R. Addy Jr. has sentenced Ritter to two life terms for the murders of Samir Atkins, 26, and Elzie Mack, 41, the notary’s office said.

“Both of these men were executed with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head,” attorney Rick Hubbard said in the statement.

A man has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murdering Elzie Mack, left, and Samir Atkins, the 11th Circuit Solicitor's Office has said.

A man has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murdering Elzie Mack, left, and Samir Atkins, the 11th Circuit prosecutor’s office has said.

Ritter was also sentenced to 30 years in prison for attempted murder and kidnapping, and 10 years for armed robbery, and he will not be eligible for parole, the statement said.

The convictions stem from a violent incident that occurred three years ago.

On July 5, 2018, Ritter visited Glenn Street Apartment of his cousin, Atkins, in western Colombia, the statement said.

A man who survived a bullet in the incident provided eyewitness testimony during the trial, the notary’s office said.

Ritter and Atkins went into the kitchen and the witness stated that he heard only one shot. He was then sent at gunpoint into the kitchen and placed face down next to Atkins’ body, the statement said.

As Ritter and unknown accomplices searched the residence, Atkins’ friend Mack showed up at the apartment, the notary’s office said.

The witness said Mack was also ordered to get to the floor in the kitchen near Atkins’ body and was heard to say, “I’m going down, I’m going down”, before a second shot was fired. pulled, according to the statement.

At this point, the witness stated that Ritter had the gun in his hand and he was pointing the gun in his direction. The witness said Ritter pulled the trigger and the gun clicked but did not fire, the statement said.

The witness took the opportunity to grab Ritter and was shot as they struggled, but he was able to escape from the apartment, the notary’s office said.

the West Columbia Police Department suspected the witness shot Ritter, saying that the officers found several weapons in New Brookland’s apartment, The State previously reported.

Medical examiner Dr Janice Ross said Atkins died of a single gunshot wound to the back of his head, the statement said. Atkins died at the scene, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.

When first responders arrived at the scene, Mack was still breathing, but Gaston’s resident was declared brain dead the next day and ultimately died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head, a indicated the notary’s office.

It “was one of the most gruesome crime scenes in recent years,” said assistant lawyer Sutania Fuller, who handled the prosecution with assistant lawyer Shawn Graham. “While this sentence will not bring Samir and Elzie back, I am grateful that families now have the closure and justice they deserve.”

Mack is survived by a wife and son, while Atkins left behind a daughter, according to the lawyer.

Ritter was a wanted man for about a week before surrendering to law enforcement on July 13, 2018, the statement said. He was represented by attorneys James Arthur Brown Jr. and Dayne Phillips, Lexington County Court Records show.

No other arrests were made in this case and no reason was given for the shootings.

In addition to West Columbia Police, the incident was also investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, FBI Cell Analysis Investigation Team. , the US Secret Service, and the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office.

“The case was extremely difficult and required a lot of teamwork,” said Hubbard. “I am grateful for the hard work of the prosecution team and law enforcement to end justice and bring justice to the families of the victims.


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