Greenwood, S.C.; April 20, 2016 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Wednesday afternoon that a child molester was sentenced to 30 years in prison after the man’ sentence was unsealed in open court.Shane Alexander Washington was found guilty of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor during a trial in April 2015 which was held in his absence. The trial was initially scheduled for December 2014, but Washington failed to appear in court and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
Circuit Judge Lawton McIntosh presided over the trial and sealed the sentence until Washington could appear before the court.
Solicitor’s Office Investigator Windy Chappell worked with the State Law Enforcement Division to apprehend Washington last week at a Greenwood residence.
Washington was represented by Janna Nelson of the 8th Circuit Public Defender’s Office and said that Washington had his “head in the sand” and in denial about the trial actually taking place since he maintains his innocence. Nelson asked Circuit Judge Donald Hocker, who unsealed the sentence, to modify the sentence to the mandatory minimum. Hocker denied the motion and Nelson stated her intent to file a written appeal of the verdict within 10 days, as is required by law.
Assistant Solicitor Lance Sheek told the court that Washington had been “actively evading” capture since April of last year.
Stumbo once again praised the work of prosecutors Sheek and Yates Brown who presented the case for the state at trial, along with the Chappell who worked extensively on the case preparing for trial and in search of Washington.
“Sexual predators need to understand that they cannot outrun the long arm of the law,” Stumbo said following the sentencing proceeding. “My office will never stop looking, never stop searching for menaces to society like Shane Washington. And when we find them, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”