Crime

He killed a standout local athlete. This is how long he’ll spend in prison

Devonta Williams showed no emotion as a jury announced he was guilty of murdering a well-known high school athlete in the Longs area in 2016.

Williams will now serve 35 years in prison for the murder of 19-year-old Levi Moody. In November 2016, Williams shot Moody and two other men in a dispute in the Freemont area. Williams also was convicted on two counts of attempted murder.

“This has been a long time coming for me and my family,” Moody’s mother, Veronica Johnson, told a judge Thursday. “It’s a tragedy because of the fact my son is not here and will never be here again.”

Moody was a football star at Loris High School.

Johnson said she has known Williams since he was a child. She said their community lost two people — Moody and Williams — to the streets because of the incident.

She said the case has been hard for both families and that she hoped Williams grows from the incident.

The state painted a case of Williams confronting three people on Freemont Road the afternoon of Nov. 12, 2016, and demanding money. A short time later, he fired several shots.

“Two people got shot and Levi Moody got killed,” said Seth Oskin, assistant solicitor, during his closing arguments Wednesday.

One of the other victims was shot in the stomach and buttocks and the third was shot in the leg and grazed in the shoulder. One of the victims said they threw money at Williams after the shooting, Oskin said.

During a police interrogation, Williams denied any involvement in the shooting. The jury watched a video of the interview during the trial.

“I know I didn’t shoot nobody,” Williams said.

Williams said he was in the area at the time of the incident, heard the shots and took off running.

Defense Attorney Eric Fox called the shooting a “horrible tragedy” and said it should have been a fist fight between the teens. He asked the judge to take Williams’ youth and his lack of criminal history into account when delivering his sentence.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.
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