Greenwood, S.C.; November 30, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a member of Greenwood’s Eastside Gang was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2017 killing of a 23-year-old Greenwood man.
On October 12, a Greenwood County jury returned guilty verdicts on Zantravious Hall, 25, an Eastside Gang member, for murder, attempted murder, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Hall pleaded guilty during his trial to an additional charge of failure to stop for blue lights.
Circuit Judge Donald Hocker delayed sentencing after the defense filed a motion opposing the State’s use of a prior conviction as a strike under South Carolina’s recidivist statute. Judge Hocker denied that motion and sentenced Hall to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the charge of murder and attempted murder, and a time served sentence on the charge of failure to stop for blue lights with credit for the 374 days Hall has already served.
The life without parole sentences were issued pursuant to South Carolina’s recidivist statute, which requires a defendant be sentenced to life without parole when he has certain prior convictions. Hall had a previous conviction for assault and battery with intent to kill, which is classified as a “most serious” offense. Under South Carolina’s recidivist statute, a second conviction for a “most serious” offense requires a sentence of life without parole upon proper notice by the state. Both murder and attempted murder are “most serious” offenses under state law and Hall’s conviction on those charges triggered the life without parole sentences.
Violent Crimes Prosecutor Josh Thomas and Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown handled the case for the state, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Windy Chappell and Victim Advocates Mary Ann Stroup, Sarah Parris, Catie Maffett, and Eboni Sanders. Hall was represented by Janna Nelson, Elizabeth Able, and Tristan Shaffer of the Greenwood Public Defender’s Office.
At about 2 p.m. on November 21, 2017, Emyle McDuffie and his friend, Michael Lukie, were walking through Phoenix Place Apartments when a red car with tinted windows pulled up behind them. Hall stepped out of the vehicle and fired 14 shots from a 9mm handgun, striking Lukie in the hip and striking McDuffie 9 times. McDuffie died from his wounds later that same day at Self Regional Medical Center.
Hall spent the next several hours wiping his car down and otherwise trying to cover up his crime. Hall was spotted by officers later the same afternoon and officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Hall fled from officers, eventually crashing his car into another vehicle and attempting to flee on foot. Hall was caught and apprehended by officers following the brief foot chase.
Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Sgt. Martin Haralson, the lead investigator in the case, and Cpt. Mitch McAllister and Sgt. William Kay of the Greenwood Police Department in securing the conviction and life without parole sentences.
“Our community will simply not continue to stand for violence on our streets, particularly in broad daylight and in a place where children play,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “I hope that this life-without-parole sentence sends a clear message that my office will continue to fight alongside our brothers and sisters in blue to do whatever is necessary to keep our community safe.”