Killer in Columbia home invasion case gets life in prison

jmonk@thestate.comOctober 3, 2013 

Greg Isaac

— A Richland County judge has sentenced Greg Isaac, who admitted he shot and killed the occupant of an apartment during a home invasion, to life in prison.

Judge Clifton Newman, who in an earlier pretrial hearing had called Isaac’s claim of self-defense “preposterous,” sentenced Isaac Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of murder and related charges. The jury took 31 minutes to render a verdict.

The case involved the 2005 shooting death of Antonio Corbitt at his home in the 3200 block of Fernandina Road. After he was shot in front of his young son, he staggered outside clad only in sweat pants and died on a front walk.

In 2012, the Richland County sheriff’s department uncover fingerprint evidence that led to the arrest of Isaac and two other men.

Earlier this year, Isaac’s case became a testing ground for an aspect of South Carolina’s Stand Your Ground gun law, which gives an armed person broad latitude to shoot and kill anyone whom the armed person feels is threatening him. Isaac’s attorney, Mark Schnee of Columbia, had argued that Isaac should be granted immunity from prosecution under the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

But earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that Schnee could not bring up that argument before trial. However, the judge ruled Isaac could tell the jury he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Corbitt.

During his trial, Isaac took the stand and told the jury he shot Corbitt because he felt Corbitt was threatening him while he was breaking into Corbitt’s home.

In a closing argument to the jury Wednesday, 5th Circuit prosecutor Luck Campbell drew attention to that testimony, saying “no one has the right to break into someone’s house and try to claim self-defense to get off.”

Campbell, who prosecuted the case with Meghan Walker, called the self-defense claim “ludicrous.”

Isaac’s version of events was that he was forced into accompanying the two other men to Corbitt’s apartment and feared he would be killed if he didn’t go along.

On Oct. 27, 2005, Tavares World kicked in Corbitt’s front door, Isaac said, and in an ensuing fight, when Isaac feared Corbitt was going to pull a gun, Isaac shot him with the .380 handgun World had given him.

Corbitt, 29, had graduated from Richland Northeast High School and was a supervisor at Babies-R-Us when he was killed.

Arrested in what court documents describe as a robbery to get money and drugs were: World, Isaac and Vernorris Dixon, 36, of Columbia. All three were charged with robbery, conspiracy and murder.

Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344.

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