South Carolina

Man gets 24 years for setting victim on fire

Jonathan Lilly attempted to murder Anthony Grant by cutting his throat, stabbing him and setting him on fire, according to a warrant.

The 40-year-old Grant’s “hands and feet were bound with tape” on March 23, 2014, while he was stabbed “multiple times,” according to the Jasper County arrest warrant. The crime occurred in Hardeeville.

Lilly, 22, of Hardeeville, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, kidnapping and conspiracy for crimes against Grant, and he pleaded guilty as an accessory after the fact in the July 2011 murder and kidnapping of Joseph Kilpatrick, according to 14th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Sean Thornton.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles sentenced Lilly to 24 years in prison on May 13, according to Jasper County court records. Thornton said Lilly will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

Travis Lee, a co-defendant from Hardeeville, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, kidnapping and conspiracy for his role in the March 2014 crimes against Grant. He was sentenced to 18 years, according to Thornton, and he’ll have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole.

Kilpatrick, of Pineland, was shot and killed inside a Jenny Green apartment in Hardeeville while babysitting his sister's children on July 15, 2011. The victim's sister’s three children, all under 10 years old, were uninjured, according to Hardeeville police.

Lilly was first arrested for the murder in September 2011. But the case was marked by lost evidence, accusations of wrongdoing by a police officer and the transfer of the case in 2014 to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, which in turn scrapped the charges against Lilly and two other suspects.

With the missing evidence located during an audit of the Hardeeville Police Department and SLED's investigation complete, the prosecutor's moved forward with re-charging only Lilly.

A grand jury indicted him in Kilpatrick's death on Dec. 17, 2015, according to Jasper County court records and 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone.

Wade Livingston: 843-706-8153, @WadeGLivingston

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