RIDGELAND, SC (Friday, June 18, 2021) – A Florida native has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend with an ax in the backyard of the Yemassee home where they lived together.
William Outler Jr., 59, was convicted Wednesday in Jasper County General Sessions Court of the 2018 murder of 39-year-old Chantis Renee Green. The killing took place just outside the home’s back door, as the woman’s three children slept inside.
Outler was sentenced to 30 years in prison during a hearing Friday.
“This is a just outcome for a savage act,” said 14th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Hunter Swanson, who prosecuted the case. “Mr. Outler didn’t hide the fact that he killed Renee Green, he wasn’t entirely truthful in his version of events.”
The jury could have concluded Outler acted in self defense or convicted him of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Instead, the jury of seven men and five women found him guilty of murder after about 90 minutes of deliberation Wednesday.
At about 3 a.m. on Aug. 7, 2018, Outler rode his bicycle to the Point South area, where he told two Jasper County Sheriff’s Office deputies that he had killed his girlfriend during an argument over money about 45 minutes earlier. He then directed them to the home off Peter Heyward Road.
Green was found lying dead in the backyard. She had been struck in the head three times with an ax – twice with the blunt side and once with the sharp side, according to a Medical University of South Carolina pathologist.
Outler had recently relocated from Miami and was living with Green, her three children and the grandmother of two of the children. Outler told officers he was unemployed and that Green argued with him that night because he wasn’t paying his fair share of the bills. He claimed she picked up an ax and tried to hit him with it, but he grabbed it from her and struck her three times in the head. He said he then left without tending to Green or calling 9-1-1.
Swanson called nine witnesses during two days of testimony to disprove Outler’s story – demonstrating, for instance, that no one in the house was awakened by the supposedly heated argument that preceded the attack.
“There is no evidence of heat of passion,” Swanson said. “Four people inside didn’t hear any argument. In fact, they didn’t even wake up until officers came and shined flashlights through the windows an hour after the murder.”
Outler’s criminal history includes convictions for aggravated assault, inflicting property damage and sale of marijuana.
Judge Carmen T. Mullen handed down the sentence.
Swanson is the leader of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Special Victims Unit. The team prosecutes cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and other crimes against vulnerable people.