A Laurens man received three life sentences without the possibility of parole following a trial in which a jury found him guilty on Wednesday at the Laurens County Courthouse.
Judge Frank Addy Jr. handed down the sentence to 48-year-old Richard Sylvester Evans Tuesday afternoon after a jury deliberated for just one hour before finding Evans guilty. The jury found Evans guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, grand larceny and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
The charges stem from a May 2012 incident in which Evans entered the Li’l Cricket store on Church Street in Laurens and held the store clerk at knifepoint. Evans took money from the cash register and other items from the store. Evans then stole the clerk’s vehicle, which was found several hours later with the items from the robbery.
Evans has a violent criminal history dating back to 1988, when he was convicted of assault and battery of a high and aggravate nature and armed robbery. He was charged with murder in 1998, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and 15 years on the charges from the 1998 incident and served significant portions of both.
Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo and Senior Assistant Solicitor Warren Mowry prosecuted the case for the state. Solicitor Stumbo praised the outstanding investigative work done by the Laurens City Police Department, and in particularly the work of investigators Walter Bentley and Leann Riggott.
“This defendant is one of the most violent and repeat offenders that we had in the Eighth Circuit,” said Stumbo. “It is a good day inLaurensCountywhen we can permanently remove a man this dangerous from our community.”