Powell sentenced to 3 consecutive life-without-parole terms plus 30 years for Greenwood murders

Jeffrey David Powell, center, stands with his attorneys Chelsea McNeill, left, and Boyd Young Friday morning during his plea proceeding at the Greenwood County Courthouse.

GREENWOOD, S.C.; March 4, 2022 – A Greenwood man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three life sentences without parole plus an additional consecutive 30 years for the murder of three family members in August of last year, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced on Friday morning.

Jeffrey David Powell, 37, of 101 Heddy Road, Greenwood, pleaded guilty on Friday morning to three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Circuit Judge Donald Hocker accepted the negotiated sentence of three life sentences plus 30 years in maximum security after hearing the facts of the case from Solicitor Stumbo on behalf of the Sheriff’s investigators and the surviving victims and family members.

In morning hours of August 2, 2021, Greenwood County deputies were dispatched to the Heddy Road residence after receiving a report of four people being shot. Deputies found three people deceased at the scene and an 8-year-old boy with gunshot wounds to his ear and hand. The 8-year-old victim was able to make his way to a neighbor’s house to make the 911 call after hiding in a bathroom for several hours after hearing the final shots Powell fired. Deputies were able to determine that Powell shot and killed his grandfather, 56-year-old Randy Perkins, his first cousin, 32-year-old Megan Dinkins, and Dinkins’ 11-year-old daughter, Shea Dinkins. All four victims resided at the Heddy Road residence, which Perkins owned.

Investigators were able to track Powell within hours of receiving the 911 call. Powell used the cell phones of the victims to transfer funds which he used to pay for an Uber ride to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport where he caught a flight to Jacksonville, Fla. With crime scene and technical assistance from State Law Enforcement Division investigators, Greenwood County investigators were able to locate Powell at a Red Roof Inn in Jacksonville. Powell was taken into custody without incident.

Solicitor Stumbo and Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown prosecuted the case for the state, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigators Blake Moore and Michael Cox and Victim Advocates Rhetta Smith and Sarah Parris. Powell was represented by Boyd Young from the Capital Litigation Division of the S.C. Office of Indigent Defense and the 8th Circuit Public Defender’s Office.

Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of Greenwood County Sheriff Dennis Kelly and his investigators in securing the conviction and life sentences.

“The Sheriff and I are extremely proud of the fantastic work by our dedicated officers who brought this investigation to a swift conclusion, in spite of the obstacles that they faced, in detaining this killer within hours of this incident in another state,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “Hopefully the surviving child victim, and the rest of the families of those so senselessly murdered, will find some closure in the midst of their grief that this man will never see the light of day again.”

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