Lexington man sentenced to 40 years for murdering victim over small amount of money

·2 min read
Getty Images

A Lexington man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for gunning down his neighbor after an altercation over a small amount of money escalated into a deadly storm of gunfire.

Christopher David Shumpert was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison without parole for the murder of Barry Joe Chavis, Jr. on Fish Hatchery Road in Gaston in 2020, according to the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

“This senseless, cowardly, and brutal murder has destroyed three young lives and families,” said Deputy Solicitor Rhonda W. Patterson, who prosecuted the case. Chavis, who was 28 at the time of his death, was remembered as a very hard worker, a certified engine mechanic who loved to work on dirt bikes and four wheelers, according to his obituary.

Shumpert, 22, was sentenced Friday after a Lexington County jury found him guilty of the murder, which Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said stemmed from what witnesses called “a long-running disagreement.”

He was also sentenced to 20 years for assault and battery and five years for possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

On March 27, 2020, tensions between Shumpert and Chavis boiled over.

Shumpert, who was 19 at the time, and his co-defendant Daniel Taylor Jones, then 18, confronted Chavis and another, unnamed individual, at Chavis’ home in the 3600 block of Fish Hatchery Road.

Shumpert had arrived armed with a 9mm handgun, while Jones carried a powerful .300 Blackout rifle. The men “continued to argue,” according to Koon. After a brief altercation, law enforcement say that Shumpert and Jones then opened fire on Chavis, who was unarmed.

Twenty-one rounds were fired at Chavis. Two of them struck him in the back, killing him instantly. He died in his front yard.

The other individual who was with Chavis survived after being shot once in the leg and once in the stomach.

Shumpert was arrested at a hotel in Aiken, while Jones was arrested at his home in Gaston, according to the sheriff’s department.

Charges against Jones for murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon are still pending.

Patterson prosecuted the case along with assistant solicitor Bradley Pogue. The investigation was led by Sgt. Michael “Joe” Hart with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Office’s Major Crimes Unit, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department.