Greenwood man sentenced to 18 years in prison for vicious assault


GREENWOOD, S.C.; March 14, 2024 – A Greenwood man was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to a charge stemming from an assault with a broom handle, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Thursday.

Kerrick Lavince Kelley, 50, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Circuit Judge Donald Hocker then sentenced Kelley to 18 years, out of a possible maximum of 20, in prison. Kelley has an extensive and violent criminal history dating back to 1995. The offense is considered violent and serious under state law, meaning Kelley is not eligible for parole.

In March of 2022, Kelley was living with the victim at a residence on East Avenue in Greenwood. Officers were dispatched to the residence and found the victim lying in the floor with a badly swollen right eye and lacerations to his face. Witnesses told police that Kelley and the victim got into a verbal argument that led to Kelley attacking the victim with a broom handle. Witnesses said Kelley hit the victim multiple times with the broom handle, knocking the victim to the floor. Kelley then jumped on top of the victim and punched him several times in the face before fleeing the residence, leaving the victim unconscious on the floor.

The victim was taken by Greenwood County EMS to Self Regional Healthcare where he was treated for his injuries. Those injuries included complete loss of sight in the victim’s right eye and several fractures around the orbital of the eye. The victim had previously lost vision in his left eye prior to the attack. The attack left him completely blind.

Kelley was not located until more than a year later when he was questioned about an unrelated shoplifting incident. He had been on the run the entire time, going so far as to call his employer immediately following the attack to let them know he had been in a fight and would not be back to work.

Assistant Solicitor Madison Hoffman prosecuted the case for the state with assistance from 8th Circuit Victim Advocate Rhetta Smith. Kelley was represented by Colie Stancil of the 8th Circuit Public Defender’s Office.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff, along with Greenwood Police Department Chief T.J. Chaudoin and his officers, in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.

“It is absolutely senseless for a simple disagreement between two grown men to devolve into a violent assault, particularly one as vicious as this,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “Kerrick Kelley is a violent career criminal and the law enforcement community pleased that Judge (Donald) Hocker appropriately sentenced him to a very long stint behind bars without any possibility of parole.”

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