WALTERBORO, SC – A 25-year-old Walterboro man has been convicted of murder and attempted murder for shooting two security guards outside a Colleton County nightclub – but only after a key piece of evidence was extracted from a survivor’s body.
Andre Nicholas Crawford was found guilty Thursday of killing Jesse Guy, 30, of Dorchester County, and attempting to kill Bruce Martin, of North Charleston, in 2016. The convictions followed two days of testimony from 19 prosecution witnesses in Colleton County General Sessions Court. Crawford also was found guilty of possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a violent crime and of obstructing justice.
He is to serve 40 years in prison.
“This verdict is what God has made. I really believe that,” said Tameaka Legette of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Career Criminal Unit, who prosecuted the case. “Andrew Crawford’s time has come for all the things that he has done to so many people.”
Crawford’s victims were security guards at Club Leon’s in Round O. They tried to break up a fight between the defendant’s brother and another person outside the club, just before closing time May 28. 2016. Guy tased Daquan Crawford in an attempt to break up the fight. Andre Crawford, standing nearby, then shot Martin, and Guy.
Guy tried to assist Martin before running away, not realizing he too had been shot. He collapsed over the trunk of a parked vehicle, where he bled internally, and subsequently bled to death at Trident Medical Center.
Crawford was initially set for trial in December, but proceedings were delayed so that Martin could have the bullet the defendant fired at him removed from his body. The shot tore across his body, and similar wounds often prove fatal, Legette said. When surgeons operated on Martin in the immediate aftermath of his shooting, they found it precariously lodged against his liver and decided to leave it where it was.
Over time, however, the bullet moved to a position in which it could be safely removed, Legette said. Although the murder weapon was never recovered, analysts at the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division confirmed the bullet taken from Martin’s body was fired from the same gun as the bullet that struck and killed Guy.
During this week’s trial, Martin identified Crawford as his shooter.
Circuit Court Judge Perry Buckner handed down the sentences. Crawford received 35 years for murder, 30 years for attempted murder and 10 years for obstruction of justice, to be served concurrently. He also received five years for the weapons charge, which will be served consecutively.
Legette is a member of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most habitual and dangerous offenders. With Thursday’s conviction, the team has earned convictions against more than 300 defendants since its formation in 2008. Crawford’s conviction marked the 58th Career Criminal conviction Legette has secured.