Jury finds man guilty in the death of Columbia bouncer - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Jury finds man guilty of murder in the death of Columbia bouncer

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James Bethel, Jr. in 2012 (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) James Bethel, Jr. in 2012 (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)

A Richland County jury found James Kevin Bethel, Jr. guilty of murder and attempted murder, the solicitor's office announced Friday.

Bethel was arrested last year at Briargate Condominiums for the murder of 25-year-old Gewayne Franklin. A manager for the complex said Bethel, who was not a resident of Briargate, jumped the fence to escape authorities.

Franklin, who was a bouncer at Mr. Lucky's in the Broad River Road area, was shot at point blank range in the back of the head in the parking lot, said Nicole Holland with the Fifth Judicial Circuit's office. 

Bethel was also charged and convicted of the attempted murder of Kedron Hope, who was providing security for Mr. Lucky's at the time of this crime, Holland said.

"A verdict like this sends a clear message," said Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson.  "These types of violent, senseless acts will not be tolerated in our community, and I am pleased with the verdict in this case."

In a trial that lasted almost all week, the jury returned a verdict after deliberating for approximately 3 1/2 hours. 

Bethel, Jr. was found guilty of both charges. 

Judge Deidre Jefferson sentenced to him to 50 years for Mr. Franklin's murder and 30 years for the attempted murder of Mr. Hope, Holland said.   These sentences will run concurrently.

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