Crime

Weeks ago, he admitted to killing a man; today, he wants out from behind bars

A witness describes a shooting in a Myrtle Beach hotel parking lot in 2015

A hotel employee testifies about what he saw during a 2015 shooting. Darrell Deas was charged with murder in connection to the case and was making a stand your ground case ahead of his trial.
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A hotel employee testifies about what he saw during a 2015 shooting. Darrell Deas was charged with murder in connection to the case and was making a stand your ground case ahead of his trial.

A month ago, Darrell Deas stood in a courtroom and admitted to killing a person in 2015. This week, he’s asking for a new trial.

Deas filed the request in Horry County saying he should receive a new trial — or have his case overturned because of double jeopardy — because his lawyer missed chances to shave time off his sentence.

On Feb. 12, Deas pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the 2015 killing of Latron Lewis in a Myrtle Beach La Quinta parking lot. Police say Deas and Lewis argued in the parking lot and it escalated with Deas using a handgun. Police initially charged Deas with murder.

A judge sentenced Deas to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge.

Deas, in a hand-written filing, claimed his lawyers were ineffective. He argued they did not raise the proper defense issues that could have gotten him less prison time, including Stand Your Ground issues.

The argument is despite the fact that defense attorneys argued the shooting was a Stand Your Ground situation during a hearing ahead of Deas trial. It was after that hearing that Deas changed his plea in the case and admitted to the killing.

Deas has changed his mind several times. He was once scheduled to plea ahead of trial, only to reverse course and say he wanted to go before a jury.

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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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