Jeremy Gerome Junious, a 35-year-old Columbia man, pled guilty to Burglary First Degree last week in Lexington County and was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Cooper to twenty-two (22) years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Under South Carolina law, burglary first degree is categorized as a violent, most serious, and “no parole” offense meaning that Junious will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.
Assistant Solicitor Luke Pincelli handled the prosecution of this case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department handled the investigation.
On April 9, 2022, Junious broke into a residence in the West Columbia area of Lexington County. Junious initially demanded that the victim open the door. Once the victim did not comply, Junious used his firearm to shoot out the lock before forcing his way inside the home. Once inside, Junious engaged in a shootout with the man living in the home. As a result of this gunfire, Junious, the man, and a child all sustained injuries, but have recovered.
Based on the investigation, law enforcement was able to determine that Junious and the victim had children in common. The victim and her current boyfriend lived in this West Columbia residence with the children. On this day, Junious was violating a Family Court Order when he arrived at the residence demanding to be allowed inside and to take his children. During the burglary, Junious did pick up one of the toddlers and left the home.
The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department responded to the residence and were able to locate Junious on the side of the road in his car a few blocks from the crime scene suffering from gunshot wounds with the child on his lap. Deputies were able to rescue the child and take Junious into custody without further issue.
Judge Cooper referenced the possible penalties during the plea because defense counsel requested the minimum sentence for Junious. Burglary First Degree carries 15 years to a life sentence. Judge Cooper stated that the minimum sentence was not appropriate in this case especially because of the harm to the young child.