A man convicted of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, third or subsequent offense, who fled the state prior to his trial, was sentenced Wednesday morning at the Greenwood County Courthouse.
Judge Frank Addy Jr. handed down a sentence of 29 years to 34-year-old Alfonzo Alexnader Wednesday morning. Alexander was tried in Abbeville County in May, but did not show up for his trial. Alexander was found guilty by a jury following two days of testimony. The sentence was delivered and sealed at that time.
Alexander’s attorney, Patricia Bolen, told Judge Addy that Alexander realized he made a mistake by fleeing, but that it was a “panicked and desperate move” so that he could witness the birth of his child.
Assistant Solicitors Yates Brown and Cam Morrow handled the trial for the state, with Brown handling the sentencing Wednesday morning.
Brown told the judge that Alexander was found in Melbourne, Fla., last week by his bondsman. An Abbeville City police officer and an Abbeville County Sheriff’s deputy went to Florida to bring Alexander back to South Carolina. Alexander has a long rap sheet of drug charges and previously spent 10 years on prison on a drug distribution charge.
“We’re happy this repeat offender was detained in Florida and brought back to face the consequences of his actions,” Brown said following the sentencing.
Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo hopes that the stiff sentence sends a message to those who would attempt to flee justice.
“Alfonzo Alexander is a prime example of a criminal defendant whose refusal to take responsibility for his crimes and choice to evade the justice system resulted in that defendant being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Stumbo said after the sentence was handed down. “Those that take responsibility for their actions will be given the appropriate amount of benefit and mercy that the justice system can give.”