Life Sentence for 2012 Shooter

Derekee Johnson

WINNSBORO – A Winnsboro man charged with the 2012 murder of Bobby Lee “Clyde” McCloud was found guilty by a jury of his peers last week and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in a trial presided over by 6th Circuit Court judge Knox McMahon.

Derekee Johnson, 36, of Crawford Circle in Winnsboro, was arrested in Blythewood a day after the May 18, 2012 shooting that took place at approximately 6:45 p.m. near the intersection of Russell and Spring streets in Winnsboro. McCloud, 22, of Chatham Forest Circle in Winnsboro, was shot four times in the chest and pronounced dead at the scene, according to the incident report.

McCloud was discovered by a passer-by behind a vacant home in the 500 block of Russell Street in the Zion Hill neighborhood at approximately 7:15 p.m. on May 18, 2012. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the witness squatting over McCloud’s body, compressing McCloud’s chest wounds with a shirt.

Winnsboro Department of Public Safety Chief Freddie Lorick told The Voice in 2012 that witnesses had reported that an altercation between Johnson and McCloud had occurred earlier that evening. By 6:45 p.m., the altercation had escalated and witnesses reported seeing Johnson chasing McCloud through the neighborhood at that time, firing shots at him. McCloud led Johnson down Spring Street, but was eventually cornered behind the empty home on Russell Street where Johnson reportedly fired the fatal shots. Witnesses reported seeing Johnson flee the scene on foot, running into the woods near the basketball courts. After a manhunt of a little more than 24 hours, investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety arrested Johnson at a home in Blythewood.

Lorick said Johnson had been previously arrested on March 6, 2012 on charges of aggravated assault and pointing and presenting a firearm after he reportedly pulled a gun on another man in the restroom at McDonald’s on the Highway 321 Bypass.

Shortly after the trial began on April 14, Johnson’s attorney, Geoff Dunn, filed a motion for immunity under the S.C. Stand Your Ground law and a hearing was held without the jury present on April 15. McMahon denied Johnson’s motion and witness testimony began before the jury on April 16. The jury began deliberations late in the afternoon on April 18 and reached a verdict on April 21. Johnson was also found guilty on two related weapons charges, the Solicitor’s Office said.

The case was investigated by the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety with assistance from SLED and was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Riley Maxwell.

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