14th Circuit Solicitor's Office​

Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties​

Hardeeville man gets 18 years in 2016 killing

A 22-year-old Hardeeville man who shot and killed a fellow Jasper County resident in 2016 is headed to prison.

Kelly Lamont Anderson pleaded guilty Friday to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Kenyatta Austin, who was 43 when he was found dead inside a Stiney Road mobile home. Anderson was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Investigators were called to the residence at about 7:45 a.m. Sept. 15, 2016, after a neighbor found Austin’s front door open. Austin was found lying face down in between two couches with a single gunshot wound to his head. A cellphone belonging to Anderson was found inside the mobile home. Anderson was later arrested at a nearby motel.

“Two families have been ruined because of the actions of one person,” said Dustin Whetsel of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Hopefully the family of Mr. Austin has found some solace in today’s conviction.”

Anderson’s prior criminal record includes a public disorderly conduct conviction in 2014 and a shoplifting conviction in 2016.

Whetsel 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 357 of the 371 defendants it has prosecuted since the unit’s formation in late 2008.