14th Circuit Solicitor's Office​

Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties​

St. Helena Island man convicted of cousin’s 2021 murder

BEAUFORT, SC (April 19, 2024) – A 34-year-old St. Helena Island man who shot and killed his cousin during a social gathering has been found guilty of murder.  

Stephan Quinton Polite was found guilty Thursday of shooting and killing 30-year-old Anthony Rivers Jr. while the two were at a May 29, 2021, gathering at a Keystone Drive home. Polite was also convicted of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He received 30 years for the murder charge and 5 years for the gun charge. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Stephan Quinton Polite

Witnesses testified Rivers showed up to the community card game intoxicated. Words were exchanged between the two men and the defendant retrieved a gun from his car.

“This defendant further escalated the situation with his cousin when he armed himself and then threatened ‘to put (Rivers) in a wheelchair,’” said Samantha Molina of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case.

After pistol-whipping Rivers twice in the head, Polite shot Rivers in the chest as Polite was driving away. Rivers later died at an area hospital.  

Molina called 12 witnesses during the three-day jury trial at the Beaufort County Courthouse.  

Circuit Court Judge Brooks Goldsmith handed down the sentence.  

Molina is a member of the Career Criminal Unit. She has been with the Solicitor’s Office since 2019. The team has secured 487 of the 532 defendants it has prosecuted since its formation in 2009.