Isaiah Deshaun Butler, a 23-year-old man from Columbia, South Carolina, was convicted yesterday afternoon by a Lexington County jury, after approximately forty minutes of deliberations, for a drive-by shooting injuring a mother and her daughter in the Riverbend Apartment complex in West Columbia. The jury returned convictions of Attempted Murder and Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature. The Honorable Walton J. McLeod, IV, presided over the trial that began on Monday, October 11, 2021, and sentenced Butler to twenty-eight (28) years on the attempted murder charge and concurrently to twenty (20) years on the assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature charge. Under South Carolina law, these charges are classified as violent and “no parole” offenses.
Following the trial, Solicitor Rick Hubbard remarked, “I am grateful for the hard work on the part of the prosecution team and law enforcement in bringing closure to this family. The trial of this case was delayed multiple times for various reasons and, unfortunately, one of the victims passed away last month due to unrelated causes. We know that her family is grateful that justice was done here in Lexington County on her behalf.”
On August 30, 2018, Butler, while driving a black Range Rover, opened fire into a crowd of people in the parking lot of the Riverbend Apartment complex striking a mother multiple times in the chest, breast, and arm area as well as striking the daughter in the head. Both women were transported by ambulance for treatment. The mother remained in the hospital for approximately nine days and, fortunately, both women survived this shooting.
Earlier in the day, Butler’s girlfriend and her sibling were in a verbal and physical altercation over a cell phone. During the altercation, the daughter, who was a friend of the siblings, attempted to break up the fight and that led to a verbal altercation between Butler and the daughter. At some point, Butler ended up in possession of the cell phone and would not give it back to his girlfriend’s sibling. Butler threatened to shoot the daughter and others during the altercation around 7:30 p.m. that day and those threats were reported to law enforcement. At trial, witnesses testified to seeing Butler driving a black Range Rover that day. When law enforcement arrived in response to these threats, they also observed Butler and the black Range Rover. However, Butler left the complex with the cell phone before law enforcement realized his involvement in the altercation.
After the threats were made, the mother arrived to pick up her daughter. Shortly after 9 p.m., witnesses testified seeing the same black Range Rover drive into the apartment complex and open fire on the crowd that included an infant child as they waited on Butler to bring back the cell phone. During the shooting, the mother and daughter sustained the gunshot wound injuries.
Butler took the stand in his own defense and claimed the defense of alibi. Butler also denied having a black Range Rover. Evidence presented at trial included eyewitness testimony identifying Butler as the shooter. Butler’s cell phone records also placed him there. Butler’s cell phone device was examined pursuant to a search warrant and his cell phone contained evidence of the shooting. Also, photos of a black Range Rover parked in Butler’s driveway two days prior to the shooting were located on his phone with metadata information.
During sentencing, the Court was made aware of how this shooting impacted this family and the fear that they lived in since this shooting occurred.
Assistant Solicitors Sutania A. Fuller and Whitney Yongue handled the prosecution of this case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. This case was investigated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant Solicitor Fuller remarked that “this senseless shooting almost caused multiple people their lives. It is unfortunate that one of the victims did not live to see justice served in this case and that she lived in fear leading up to her passing. But her family has expressed how grateful they are to have this closure now on her behalf.”
Booking Photo of Isaiah Butler