Crime

Man charged in viral Myrtle Beach shooting case rejects plea, faces 200 years behind bars

A man charged in connection to a Myrtle Beach shooting captured on Facebook Live rejected a plea offer that would have seen him spend three years in prison and now he faces more than two centuries behind bars.

One of his co-defendants took a plea offer and received only probation.

Keshawn Steele and Jarvez Graham were both in Horry County court on Thursday. They were charged in connection to a shooting on Ocean Boulevard in June 2017. A witness filmed the shooting and posted it on Facebook. The video went viral and was shared worldwide.

Steele faces six counts of attempted murder and one count of second-degree assault by mob. He faces more than 200 years in prison if convicted and his sentences run back-to-back.

Despite the lengthy punishment hanging over his head, Steele rejected a deal that would have seen him spend only three years in prison and then complete three years of probation. Judge Thomas Russo was meticulous in making sure Steele understood what he faced by rejecting the offer.

Graham, unlike Steele, decided to accept a plea offer. He faced the same counts and pleaded guilty to third-degree assault by mob. Russo sentenced him to two years probation under the state’s youthful offender act.

One of the shooting victim’s grandmother, Rose Lassiter, said her grandson hasn’t been the same since the Father’s Day shooting.

“That day changed my life and that day changed the life of him and his whole entire family,” she said.

She also took a moment to thank Graham for the changes he made and to express condolences for the situation.

“I’m so sorry for the disturbance that went on here in this town,” she said. “I just … I just hate it.”

The incident

According to a Myrtle Beach police arrest report, shortly after midnight on June 18, police responded to Ocean Boulevard and 4th Avenue North for a group of disorderly people.

As officers arrived, gunfire rang out and six people were shot, according to the report.

The incident started on 5th Avenue North when a car driven by Jarvez Graham stopped and Raekwon Graham, Keshawn Steele and Derias Little exited and approached one of the victims, according to the report. Tyron Steele was also involved in the incident. The suspects threw hand signals and then ran from the scene.

Jarvez Graham then drove the car south on Ocean Boulevard, where he picked up the three. The group drove to 4th Avenue, where they waited.

The suspects made plans to attack the victim, police said. As a group of people approached, Raekwon Graham, Steele and Little again left the car, according to the report.

Jarvez Graham yelled “burn him,” according to the report, which was the attack signal. Little fired shots, hitting several people, and then carjacked a vehicle to escape, according to the report.

Derias Little previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder, carjacking and possession of a weapon during a violent crime and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Tyron Steele was convicted of accessory to assault and battery and given credit for time served.

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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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