Michael Kearney

Attempted murder plea draws 15-year prison sentence

From staff reports

A Port Royal man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he shot a man in the face in broad daylight.

Michael Shane Kearney, 37, pleaded guilty as indicted Monday to the attempted murder of Torian Singleton and to possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime.

“Mr. Kearney committed an extremely brazen act of violence,” said Mary Jordan Lempesis of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Fortunately, Mr. Singleton survived his injuries, and citizens came forward to help bring the defendant to justice.”

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Lexxus Lane in Burton on Feb. 27, 2018, after receiving a report of shots fired. They arrived to find Singleton motionless on the ground and initially thought he might be dead. He was transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, then to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he recovered from his injuries.

Video from the security camera of a person who lived near the crime scene showed Kearney walk up to Singleton shortly after Singleton had sold a television to another man. Kearney then shot Singleton in the face.

Several eyewitnesses described Kearney and the red SUV he used to flee from the scene.

Kearney’s criminal history includes convictions for second-degree burglary (2005), simple possession of marijuana (2007) and possession of cocaine (2014, in Florida).

Circuit Court Judge Bentley Price handed down the sentence.

Lempesis is the first assistant solicitor for the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. She has been with the office since 2009.

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