Three co-defendants were each sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for their roles in the slaying of Steven Grich, a Clemson University student from Fort Mill, nearly two years ago.
In an emotion-filled proceeding in a Greenville County courtroom, Circuit Court Judge Ned Miller heard from two families devastated by what he called “an incredible tragedy.”
Grich was shot and killed Dec. 8, 2012, when masked intruders rushed into his off-campus residence looking for drugs.
Grich’s family, including his mother and father, spoke in court of the overwhelming loss they felt, especially as the holidays approach. Steven Grich, an engineering student, would have graduated in December, his father, Steve Grich, told Miller.
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“As a father, my main job is to protect my family,” Steve Grich said. “I failed.”
“There are no words for my loss,” Steven Grich’s mother, Jeanne Grich, told the judge. “We are broken-hearted, and I live every day with this pain and agony.”
The defendants – Jordan Charles Dalton, 21, his brother Jaron Bradley Dalton, 26, and friend Bernard Kadeem Ramsey, 21 – all apologized to Grich’s family. Each was charged with voluntary manslaughter, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and first-degree burglary.
The Daltons and Ramsey pleaded guilty earlier this year in an agreement with prosecutors.
The Daltons’ grandmother, retired Pickens County Chief Magistrate Dale Dalton, appealed to Miller for mercy.
Her grandsons made an “idiotic decision” that will haunt them and their family for decades, she said. Family members, in a show of support for the Daltons, filled five rows of the courtroom’s spectator seating.
At one point, Dale Dalton looked at members of the Grich family and said, “I don't know why your son had to lose his life – possibly to save ours.”
Ramsey openly sobbed in court. His uncle and a friend spoke on his behalf, with the friend telling the Grich family, “My prayers are with you.”
Ramsey’s attorney, Druanne White, described him as “one of the most mild-mannered, non-narcissistic clients that I have ever represented” in almost 30 years of legal work.
“I agree he did wrong by going in that house,” she said.
The Daltons and Ramsey testified in September against a fourth man, Lester Devaria Mosley Jr.
A jury convicted Mosley of murder in Grich’s death, and Miller sentenced him to 50 years in prison.