Christopher David Shumpert, a 22-year-old Lexington County man, was convicted yesterday by a Lexington County jury and sentenced to forty (40) years without parole for the murder of Barry Joe Chavis, Jr., which occurred on March 27, 2020, at 3630 Fish Hatchery Road in the Gaston area of Lexington County. Shumpert was also sentenced to twenty (20) years for Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature and five (5) years for Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime all to run concurrently. The sentence was imposed by Circuit Court Judge Debra R. McCaslin following a four-day trial.
Barry Joe Chavis, Jr., age 28, was shot and killed in his front yard after being confronted by Shumpert and his codefendant after an argument about a small amount of money. After a brief altercation, Shumpert and his codefendant both fired guns toward Chavis, who was unarmed. Shumpert was armed with a 9mm handgun and his codefendant was armed with a .300 Blackout rifle. There were twenty-one rounds fired toward Chavis with two striking him in his back and he was killed instantly. Shumpert and his codefendant shot another individual twice, once in the leg and once in the stomach. He was transported to the hospital for treatment and released days later.
Several witnesses at the scene immediately identified Shumpert and his codefendant as the shooters and law enforcement began a search for them. The codefendant was apprehended in Lexington County later that night while the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division tracking team apprehended Shumpert at a hotel in Aiken County early the next morning. Both Shumpert and his codefendant were charged with Murder, Attempted Murder, and Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime. The codefendant’s charges are still pending.
This investigation was led by Sgt. Michael “Joe” Hart and he was assisted by other investigators of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit as well as the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputy Solicitor Rhonda W. Patterson and Assistant Solicitor Bradley Pogue prosecuted the case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Deputy Solicitor Patterson commented that “this senseless, cowardly, and brutal murder has destroyed three young lives and families. The family is grateful for justice and closure.”