Virgin Islands man gets 30-year sentence in student's death - - Columbia, South Carolina

Virgin Islands man gets 30-year sentence in student's death

Sama Quinland (Source: Solicitor's Office) Sama Quinland (Source: Solicitor's Office)

A Virgin Islands man pleaded guilty in the 2011 death of Spartanburg student on Monday and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Solicitor Barry Barnette said Sama Quinland, 22, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the July 25, 2011 death of 19-year-old Deandre Fulton-Smith, who was found inside his apartment at the Reserve at Park West at 2000 Keats Dr.

About a month later, deputies named Quinland as one of three suspects in Fulton-Smith's death.

Barnette said Quinland met Fulton-Smith online and showed up at his apartment expecting to meet a woman. When he realized the victim was transgender, Barnette said Quinland stabbed and shot Fulton-Smith in the heat of the moment.

Deputies said police in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, received an anonymous tip about Quinland's whereabouts after someone saw his mugshot on an episode of America's Most Wanted. He was arrested there and brought back to the Upstate in August on initial charges of murder and armed robbery.

Quinland must serve 80 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for release.

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