WALTERBORO, SC (April 21, 2021) – A 45-year-old Walterboro man has been convicted of murder in a 2018 shooting that occurred in broad daylight.
Jermaine Silas White was found guilty Wednesday in Colleton County General Sessions Court for the killing of Lennon Lee Poland. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The jury of eight men and four women also convicted White of possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime. He received a five-year sentence for that offense, which will run concurrently.
“Jermaine White rushed Mr. Poland and shot him without provocation,” said Reed Evans of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Mr. Poland’s death was savage and calculated, and the defendant got the verdict he deserved.”
Poland, 24, was sitting with friends at about 3:40 p.m. on July 15, 2018, at a popular hangout spot on Francis Street. White ran out of a wooded area nearby, pointed a gun at the back of Poland’s head and shot him behind the right ear. White fled on foot to a car he had parked a short distance away, and drove off as Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and Walterboro Police officers were arriving.
However, Poland, who was still conscious, and another witness to the shooting identified White by name to Walterboro officers. Dashcam footage recorded by a responding officer captured the gold Oldsmobile that White had borrowed from a friend earlier in the day as he drove it away from the scene. Authorities also recovered a shell casing just feet from where Poland had been sitting. It matched a firearm later recovered from White’s home.
An attempted-murder charge against White was upgraded nine days later after Poland died of the gunshot wound.
White’s criminal history dates to 1993. It includes convictions for burglary (1994), possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (1997), carjacking and armed robbery (2001), felon in possession of a weapon (2004), and failure to stop for a blue light (2014).
The jury needed only about 20 minutes to reach a verdict. Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Cooper Jr. handed down the sentence.
Evans is member of the Colleton County prosecution team. He has been with the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office since 2011.