14th Circuit Solicitor's Office​

Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties​

Second defendant convicted in St. Helena murder caught on surveillance

Screen shot of surveillance video that captured murder of Steven Glover and attempted murder o Corey Singleton.

BEAUFORT, S.C. (June 16, 2023) – A second defendant has been convicted of killing an unarmed man in a fusillade of 9mm handgun fire, a crime captured in part on surveillance video.

Xavier Maoshi Polite, a 22-year-old Seabrook resident, was found guilty by a Beaufort County General Sessions Court jury of the 2020 murder of Steven Glover of St. Helena Island. He also was convicted of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime. Polite was sentenced Friday to 37 years in prison.

Polite’s co-defendant, Channon Talon Preston, was found guilty of the same charges in a jury trial in October 2022 and also sentenced to 37 years in prison.

“These two defendants ambushed Mr. Glover with an overwhelming hail of gunfire – all for perhaps a couple hundred dollars in cash,” said Mary Jones of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “This attack was senseless and brutal. Now, the people responsible for it are going where they belong.”

At about 1 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2020, Preston and Polite drove a white Toyota van owned by Preston’s mother into the front yard of Corey Deion Singleton. The pair had arranged to purchase marijuana from Glover, who was Singleton’s cousin. Claiming they saw law enforcement in the area, Preston and Polite called off the deal and drove away. When they did, Glover remained in the driver’s seat of his Nissan Maxima, and Singleton went into his house.

Moments later, Singleton heard Glover honk his car horn and thought his friend intended to leave. As he walked to his porch, however, he saw Preston and Polite returning in the van. They then stepped out of the vehicle and began firing at Glover in his car. Glover was shot seven times, and his car was struck by more than 30 bullets.

Singleton took cover behind Glover’s car, attempting to fend off the attackers by firing a 9mm pistol at their feet while lying on the ground. When his gun jammed and there was a brief pause in his assailants’ gunfire, Singleton ran to the house of a neighbor, who called 9-1-1.

Both defendants were charged with Glover’s murder, as well as the attempted murder of Singleton. Although Singleton cooperated with investigators and identified Preston as one of his attackers, he died in July 2022, before he could testify in court.

“Fortunately, investigators did a thorough job,” Jones said. “We had ample evidence, and all of it pointed convincingly to the defendants’ guilt.”

Career Criminal Unit prosecutor Mary Jones.
Career Criminal prosecutor Mary Jones.

Singleton’s surveillance cameras captured parts of the attack. Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators also recovered the murder weapons from Preston’s home, and analysts from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division matched them to 9mm shell casings found at the scene.

In addition, the murder weapons were recovered from Preston’s home in the hours after the attack, and the defendants’ DNA was detected on the firearms and in the Toyota van.

Jones called 20 witnesses during three days of testimony in Preston’s trial in October. She called 19 witnesses during three days of testimony in Polite’s trial.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Bonds handed down Polite’s sentence.

Jones 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 455 of the 494 defendants it has prosecuted since its formation in late 2009.