BEAUFORT, S.C. (Oct. 12, 2022) – A Beaufort County man has been sent to prison for a 2018 attempted murder, in which he approached the victim and shot him in the face in broad daylight.
Michael Shane Kearney, 37, pleaded guilty as indicted Monday to the attempted murder of Torian Singleton and to possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
“Mr. Kearney committed an extremely brazen act of violence,” said Mary Jordan Lempesis of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Fortunately, Mr. Singleton survived his injuries, and citizens came forward to help bring the defendant to justice.”
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Lexxus Lane in Burton on Feb. 27, 2018, after receiving a report of shots fired. They arrived to find Singleton motionless on the ground and initially thought he might be dead. However, he is taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, then to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he recovered from his injuries.
Surveillance video from the security camera of a person who lived near the crime scene showed Kearney walk up to Singleton shortly after Singleton has sold a television to another man. Kearney shoots him in the face. Several eyewitnesses also described Kearney and the red SUV he drove away in after the shooting.
Kearney’s criminal history includes convictions for second-degree burglary (2005), simple possession of marijuana (2007) and possession of cocaine (2014, in Florida).
Circuit Court Judge Bentley Price handed down the sentence.
Lempesis is the first assistant solicitor for the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. She has been with the office since 2009.