BEAUFORT, S.C. (Dec. 16, 2022) – The triggerman and mastermind of a botched armed robbery that left a Westbury Park resident dead in his home has been sent to prison.
A Beaufort County General Sessions Court on Friday found 28-year-old Devante Lamont White of Green Pond guilty of the 2020 murder of Timothy George Milliken. He also was convicted of kidnapping and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime. The crimes were captured on Milliken’s home security cameras.
White was sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder, 30 for kidnapping and five for possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime. The sentences are to be served concurrently. Three co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery and testified against White.
“To various degrees, the defendants in this case lived their lives as predators,” said Trasi Campbell of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Now they will live behind bars, and the community is a safer place as a result.”
Milliken, a security software engineer, installed an extensive security-camera system in his home on Westbury’s Kensington Boulevard. The cameras captured the crime nearly in its entirety.
Co-defendant Sarah Faye Barr of Summerville, who was 17 at the time of Milliken’s murder, had been to the computer engineer’s Westbury Park home at least once before, for a sexual liaison arranged by White. She rode to Milliken’s home on Nov. 16, 2020 with White and the other defendants – Jamal Hassan Coakley Jr. of Dale and Malik Deon White of Seabrook, both 24. They planned to rob Milliken.
White pulled over the car about a half mile away from Milliken’s home, gave Coakley a handgun and told him and Malik White to get in the trunk.
Milliken met the party at Westbury Park’s security gate to help them enter the community. Arriving in his driveway, Milliken exited the vehicle. Devante White opened the trunk and exited the vehicle, allowing Coakley and Malik White to spring out. Devante White told Milliken he was under arrest for soliciting a prostitute.
As Coakley pointed a gun at Milliken and Devante White held him from behind by the arms, all five people walked along a driveway to the back of Milliken’s house. Milliken initially refused to let them inside his home. Devante White ordered Coakley to shoot Milliken, but Coakley refused. Malik White took the gun from Jamal Coakley and handed it to Devante White, who then struck Milliken over the head with it, causing the gun to discharge.
After Devante White threatened to kill Milliken’s family members, Milliken opened a rear door into his laundry room, as if to let his assailants in. However, he then tried to close the door behind him and keep them out. His attempt did not work, however – Devante White shot him in the leg, the bullet severing his femoral artery.
The assailants fled without taking anything.
Milliken bled to death on the floor of his laundry room with his dog, Millie, at his side. He was otherwise alone in the house, and he was discovered shortly after the shooting by neighbors who called 9-1-1 when they heard the gunfire.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office tracked the defendants to the Atlanta area, where they were apprehended by the Gwinett County Police Department less than 24 hours later. The three men attempted to run away but were quickly apprehended by Gwinnett police.
The S.C. State Law Enforcement Division also assisted in the investigation.
Campbell called 23 witnesses during three days of testimony at the Beaufort County Courthouse in Devante White’s trial.
Circuit Court Judge Brooks Goldsmith handed down the sentences.
Malik White, who is not related to Devante White, and Barr pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery. White, who has a previous conviction for third-degree burglary and failure to stop for a blue light, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Barr, who had no previous record, received a 10-year sentence, suspended to five years, plus five years of probation.
Jamal Hassan Coakley Jr. of Dale, 24, also pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery earlier this year. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Campbell is a member of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most violent and habitual offenders. The team has earned convictions against 431 of the 466 defendants it has prosecuted since its formation in late 2009.