RIDGELAND, SC (April 13, 2017) – A Yemassee man convicted of murdering a married couple in 2015 received two life sentences Thursday.
Joshua Poacher, 22, was found guilty Wednesday of two counts of murder, one count each of armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in the Aug. 16, 2015, deaths of 72-year-old Kantibhai Patel and his 67-year-old wife, Hansaben Patel.
The Patels lived and worked as housekeepers at the Best Western motel in Point South. Poacher entered their room that morning, shot and killed the couple, and stole several items, including foreign currency and a debit card that he attempted to use 15 times before Poacher was arrested later that day.
Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone called the Patels’ deaths “a cold-blooded execution.”
“They were cowering in the back of their own home when they were shot and killed by the defendant,” Stone said. “Mrs. Patel was bending over her dead husband when Poacher shot her in the back.”
Stone said the only appropriate sentence for Poacher was life in prison.
In addition to the two life sentences for the murders, Circuit Court Judge R. Lawton McIntosh sentenced Poacher to 30 years in prison for armed robbery and five years for having a deadly weapon. Poacher received the maximum sentences.
“Mr. Poacher is exactly where he needs to be,” Stone said. “Mr. and Mrs. Patel were truly innocent people. They were getting ready for work when they were gunned down. They hadn’t even had time to put on their shoes.”
Jasper County Career Criminal Prosecutor Mary Jones assisted Stone in the case.