14th Circuit Solicitor's Office​

Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties​

Beaufort man gets 15 years for shooting and armed robbery

A Beaufort man was convicted Tuesday of two separate incidents, in which he shot a Southside Boulevard resident and robbed a Lady’s Island convenience store.

Phillip Ronald Smalls Jr., 25, pleaded guilty to armed robbery, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, of which he must serve no less than 85 percent.

On Oct. 5, 2015, Smalls kicked open an apartment door and fired a 9 mm handgun at the man inside, striking him in the abdomen. Smalls also fired at a neighbor, the intended target of the shooting. He left the apartment complex, drove over the McTeer Bridge and crashed into a tree. Officers found the car running, with the car’s doors open. Police found two handguns, one linking the defendant to the shooting.

In an unrelated incident Oct. 17, 2015, Smalls robbed the Shop N’ Go at 57 Sams Point Road. He demanded money, and the clerk handed over cash from the cash register and from under the counter, some of which was wrapped in orange packaging. Smalls was later found during a traffic stop.

“Wads of cash in orange packaging were found in his pockets,” Assistant Solicitor Mary Jordan Lempesis said. “Not only was he seen on the in-store video, but the initials written on the money’s distinct packaging were made by the convenience store clerk who counted the money at the beginning of her shift.”

Smalls’ criminal history includes convictions for third-degree burglary, simple possession of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine, petit larceny and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen handed down Tuesday’s sentence.