Greenwood, S.C.; October 13, 2020 – A Trenton man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to a charge stemming from a June 2019 incident in which he attempted to abduct and assault a young boy in a local Walmart store restroom, 8th Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Tuesday.
Donald Allen Morrison, 52, of Trenton in Edgefield County, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Circuit Judge Donald Hocker then sentenced Morrison to 15 years in prison, the maximum sentence for the offense allowed under state law. Morrison was already on the sex offender registry due to a previous conviction in 1992. Morrison will also now be eligible for indefinite civil commitment under the state’s Sexually Violent Predator Act upon completion of his criminal sentence.
In June 2019, law enforcement received a report of an attempted abduction at the Walmart store located at 300 Bypass 25 NE. Upon arrival, the victim, a boy under the age of 10, told officers that he encountered a strange man in the restroom and the man tried to bribe him to touch the man inappropriately as well as allow the man to touch him inappropriately. When the boy refused, the man grabbed him with both arms and refused to let him leave the restroom. When the boy threatened to tell his mother, the man let him go and fled the store.
Officers were able to obtain a description of the man and the vehicle the man was driving. Officers spotted the vehicle traveling along the Bypass near the Walmart located at 508 Bypass 72 NW and initiated a traffic stop. Morrison initially admitted to “fist bumping” the victim in the restroom before fully confessing to grabbing the boy. Officers found a carpet and other items in the trunk of Morrison’s vehicle that appeared to have been placed there in preparation for a person to ride in the trunk.
Eighth Circuit Violent Crimes Prosecutor Josh Thomas prepared the case for trial this week for the state with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Windy Chappell. Morrison was represented by Tristan Shaffer of the Greenwood Public Defender’s Office.
Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of great work of Thomas along with Lt. Martin Haralson with the Greenwood Police Department, who was the lead investigator on the case, in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence without the child victim having to take the stand to testify in court.
“A predatory pedophile like Donald Morrison belongs behind the prison walls so he will not be a threat to our children,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the sentencing. “As we promised when I was first elected to this office almost 8 years ago, my office will continue to go to battle with our brave law enforcement officers to keep our families safe.”