BEAUFORT, SC (Oct. 21, 2020) – A 20-year-old Jasper County man has been sentenced to prison for his role in a deadly shooting that left one young man dead.
Jamarie Shekel Garner of Ridgeland, S.C., was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter in connection to the Nov. 14, 2015 shooting death of 18-year-old Jamonte Markel Simmons. Garner entered the plea ahead of his trial, which was scheduled for next week’s Jasper County General Sessions term of court.
Garner, then 15, and Simmons, who had just turned 18 several days before he was shot and killed, met along a dirt path in the woods off Rice Shire Road. An altercation between the teens erupted over a stolen dirt bike. The argument ended when Garner grabbed a loaded shotgun from his brother’s hands and fired at Simmons.
“What would have been normally handled with a first fight quickly escalated and ended with one young man lying dead in a pathway,” prosecutor Dustin Whetsel of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said. “Two families are forever and irrevocably affected.”
Circuit Court Judge Brooks P. Goldsmith accepted the plea at the Beaufort County Courthouse.
Dustin Whetsel of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the case. Whetsel is a member of the Solicitor’s Office’s Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most serious and habitual offenders.