From staff reports
A St. Helena Island man who burglarized a 73-year-old widow’s home, held her at gunpoint and attempted to rape her has been sent to prison.
Codrian De’Shawn Smalls, 26, was found guilty Wednesday, Nov. 10, of assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct. A Beaufort County General Sessions Court jury also found him guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery, first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime.
Smalls was sent to prison for 30 years. He received p e n a l t i e s ranging from 30 years for the assault to two years for the weapons charge. Each sentence will be served concurrently, and Smalls will receive credit for 795 days served in the Beaufort County Detention Center while awaiting trial.
“The victim in this case showed such bravery throughout this case,” said Hunter Swanson of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Special Victims Unit, who prosecuted the case. “She was able to identify Mr. Smalls as her attacker and testify against him in court. She is a remarkable person.
“As a result, a predator has been removed from our community and gets the punishment he deserves.”
The victim was napping on the couch of her St. Helena Island home on Aug. 29, 2019, when she was awakened at about 1:30 p.m., by a tap on the shoulder. She opened her eyes to find a stranger, Smalls, standing above her. He was shirtless but wore three gold chains, dark shorts, white socks and bedroom slippers. He also had a large wing tattoo across his chest.
The woman told Smalls to get out of her house. He did but returned minutes later, pointed a gun at her and demanded that she take off her clothes. Over the next several hours, he attempted to have sexual intercourse with her three times but was unable to. Smalls then rode away on a pink bicycle after taking $120 from the victim’s purse and a .380 handgun.
The victim then went to a neighbor’s house to call for help. After giving a description of her attacker, she picked him out of a photo lineup shown to her by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Smalls was arrested Sept. 7, 2019.
Smalls’ DNA was detected on this victim’s clothing by the Sheriff’s Office forensic lab analysts.
Swanson called 10 witnesses during the two-day trial.
Smalls’ criminal history includes a 2017 conviction for third-degree assault and battery.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Bonds handed down the sentence.
The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office has prepared a video summarizing this case: https://youtu.be/ bubaGveeBiw