HAMPTON, SC (April 6, 2023) – A 25-year-old Hampton man has been convicted of a revenge shooting, in which one of the victims died in front of his young son.
Williston Lamone Owens was found guilty of murder Wednesday by a Hampton County General Sessions Court jury for the January 2019 killing of Mack Green. He also was convicted of attempted murder, possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime and two counts of discharging a firearm into a dwelling.
He was sentenced to 52 years in prison.
“Williston Owens thought he could dispense street justice,” said Reed Evans of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “But in fact, he’s going to prison because street justice is no justice at all. He killed an innocent man, robbing him of his life and robbing his son of a father.”
Days before the murder, Owens was the victim of a shooting at his home. No one was injured, but during the incident, Owens returned fire with a .40-caliber pistol. His shell casings were among the evidence collected by Hampton Police investigators. No immediate arrest was made in that case.
On Jan. 8, 2019, Owens was riding in a car with friends near a trailer park on Hampton’s Lightsey Street. Owens asked to be let out of the vehicle. He then spotted Green outside his home, smoking cigarettes with the brother of a man he suspected of participating in the drive-by shooting at his house. Owens fired several shots in the direction of the two men.
The driver of the car in which Owens was riding drove away after letting him out of the vehicle. He then heard gunfire. Owens walked back to his home a short distance away.
Green was struck in the back by one of the shots, then staggered into his house. He collapsed and died in front of his 13-year-old son, who called 9-1-1.
Owens also fired shots that struck neighboring homes.
The S.C. State Law Enforcement Division assisted the Hampton Police Department with the investigation. Its investigators collected shell casings from the same .40-caliber pistol Owens used to return fire in the incident at his home.
In a statement to investigators, Owens claimed to be at a girlfriend’s house at the time of the shooting. However, in a recorded phone call from the Beaufort County Detention Center, where Owens was being held, he told his mother that while he did not plan the shooting in advance, he took the opportunity when he spotted his intended target standing outside the home on Lightsey Street.
“We ain’t meant to kill that boy,” Owens added during the phone call to his mother. “We meant to kill that other boy.”
At the time of his conviction, Owens had pending, drug-related charges stemming from three separate incidents. He is innocent until proven guilty of these charges.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Bonds handed down the sentence.
Evans is a member of the Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most violent and habitual offenders. The team has earned convictions against 443 of the 480 defendants it has prosecuted since its formation in 2009.