In a recent court decision, 22-year-old Daniel Taylor Jones of Lexington County has been convicted and sentenced to forty (40) years without parole for the murder of Barry Joe Chavis, Jr., on March 27, 2020, at 3630 Fish Hatchery Road in the Gaston area of Lexington County. The verdict was delivered by a Lexington County jury, and the sentence, which includes twenty (20) years for Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature and five (5) years for Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime, will run concurrently. Circuit Court Judge Debra R. McCaslin imposed the sentence after a five-day trial.
The incident unfolded when Jones and his codefendant, Christopher David Shumpert, confronted Chavis after a dispute over a small amount of money. In a tragic turn of events, Jones and Shumpert fired multiple rounds at Chavis, who was unarmed, resulting in his untimely death. Jones, armed with a .300 Blackout rifle, and Shumpert, armed with a 9mm handgun, shot a total of twenty-one rounds, two of which struck Chavis, instantly causing his death. Another individual was also shot twice but survived the attack.
Witnesses at the scene promptly identified Jones and Shumpert as the assailants. A swift search led to Jones’ apprehension in Lexington County the same night, while Shumpert was captured by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division tracking team in Aiken County early the next morning. Both firearms used in the shooting were recovered at locations linked to Jones.
During the trial, Jones asserted he was shooting at the ground in self-defense, a claim contradicted by the evidence and witness testimonies. The prosecution, led by Deputy Solicitor Rhonda W. Patterson and Assistant Solicitor Bradley Pogue of the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office, argued that the shooting was neither accidental nor an act of self-defense.
This investigation, headed by Sgt. Michael “Joe” Hart with assistance from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Unit, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department, resulted in the conviction of both Jones and Shumpert. Shumpert, convicted in March 2023, also received a 40-year prison sentence.
Judge McCaslin, presiding over the case, expressed concern about the rising trend of youth violence, emphasizing the need to address and curb such incidents. The case serves as a stark reminder of the impact of violence within communities and the urgency of finding effective solutions to prevent such tragedies.