Conway man sentenced to eight years in prison in 2009 death of Myrtle Beach man

troot@thesunnews.comMay 14, 2014 

Christopher Lee McDonald

A Conway man was sentenced to eight years in prison after he pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery in connection to the 2009 shooting death of a Myrtle Beach man, according to authorities.

Christopher Lee McDonald, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Circuit Court Judge George C. James Jr., in exchange for charges of murder, burglary and two counts of kidnapping be dismissed.

Two other men also have pleaded guilty to charges in the case which stemmed from the April 22, 2009 shooting death of 20-year-old Antonio Grate, who was shot in the chest during a home invasion at Carolina Breeze Apartments in Myrtle Beach.

Alex Antwain Graham, 25, and Antoine Staffon Days, 24, along with McDonald were each arrested and charged with murder, first-degree burglary, armed robbery and two counts of kidnapping in Grate’s death.

Police said Graham and Days had firearms and pointed them at Grate, who was shot in the chest when one of the guns went off during the home invasion.

Graham pleaded guilty on November 5 to voluntary manslaughter and Circuit Court Judge Steven John sentenced him to 17 ½ years in prison with credit for the time he had served since his arrest on Aug. 30, 2011, according to court records.

Days pleaded guilty to armed robbery on Jan. 8 and John sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

According to an affidavit, Lorenzo Herion and McDonald told police that Graham and Days had the guns during Grate’s shooting. Herion, 22, is serving a 21-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter.

Herion was charged in an unrelated case involving the 2010 death of 29-year-old Malcolm Edward Kinlaw, who died Oct. 5, 2010, after being shot. Kinlaw was found in a vehicle after it crashed into the Thomas Supply Co. building, in the 1500 block of Third Avenue at Conway.

When Herion was interviewed about an unrelated incident and he gave officers information about Grate's death, according to an affidavit. Herion admitted to being in the home at the time of the incident and identified Graham, Days and McDonald as the other men who took part in the home invasion.

McDonald and Herion said Graham and Days had firearms and both pointed them at Grate during the incident, the affidavit shows. They told officers that during the home invasion a gun went off and Grate was hit in the chest.

The information given by Herion and McDonald was consistent with the evidence that police found at the scene, the affidavit shows.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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