Shell Point man convicted of murdering disabled neighbor
BEAUFORT, SC (April 11, 2019) – A Shell Point man has been convicted of murdering a disabled neighbor shortly after she received her monthly disability check and filled her prescriptions for pain medication.
Brian David Walls, 38, was found guilty Thursday for killing 56-year-old Teresa Seigler in December 2016. Walls was sentenced to 40 years in prison, following the verdict from a Beaufort County General Sessions Court jury of five men and seven women.
“Teresa had chronic pain and a number of prescriptions. Beyond these drugs, she was not a person of means,” said Hunter Swanson of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Nonetheless, she would provide her neighbors a soft landing when they couldn’t pay their bills or afford groceries. Brian Walls and the people he lived with were at her house often.
“Brian knew when Teresa’s disability check came, and he knew when her prescriptions were filled. In other words, he knew when to pounce.”
Swanson called 18 witnesses during two days of testimony. Circuit Court Judge G. Thomas Cooper handed down Thursday’s sentence.
Walls’ criminal history includes convictions for simple assault, fraud, multiple counts of simple possession of marijuana, multiple counts of assault and battery, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
John Dontue Priester, 27, and Courtney Elizabeth Brock, 24, are also charged with Seigler’s murder, and Priester is accused of the arson of Seigler’s mobile home. Walls faces first-degree criminal sexual conduct, use of a vehicle without permission and conspiracy to kidnap charges in an unrelated incident shortly after Seigler’s murder. All defendants are considered innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Swanson is the leader of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Special Victims Unit, which prosecutes crimes against vulnerable populations. She also is a member of the office’s Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most violent and habitual offenders. The Career Criminal team has now earned convictions against 327 of the 340 defendants it has prosecuted since its formation in late 2008.