Jeffrey O. Kight Jr., 23, pled guilty Monday to murder in the 2013 shooting death of William Rush Falls, 56, of the Lexington County Red Bank Community, the 11th Judicial Circuit Solitor’s office said.
The plea took place following jury qualifications, as the solicitor’s office was prepared to begin the murder trial in Lexington County.
The incident took place around 6:45 a.m. on March 13, 2013, when the victim was shot while inside his residence at 115 Emma Drive, the solicitor’s office said.
Upon arrival at the scene, CSI Detective Mike Phipps of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department recovered video from a surveillance system in the yard of the victim’s home, the solicitor’s office said. The recording showed a lone shooter approaching a kitchen window of the victim’s home and then pointing a long gun into the window frame, the solicitor’s office said. The investigation determined that a single shot was fired through the window and fatally wounded Falls.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement learned that Kight had stolen the murder weapon two days earlier during a burglary on Abingdon Drive, a parallel street next to Emma Drive, the solicitor’s office said. Ballistics testing conducted by the SLED determined that the 12-gauge shotgun stolen from the Abingdon Drive residence was the same firearm used to shoot Falls, the solicitor’s office said.
Kight was sentenced to 30 years for the crimes of murder and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime. The sentence must be served “day for day” and he will not be eligible for parole or early release, the solicitor’s office said.
Circuit Court Judge Eugene C. Griffith, Jr. imposed the sentence. Deputy Solicitor Suzanne Mayes and Assistant Solicitor Bradley Pogue handled the prosecution of the case on behalf of the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Family members of William Rush Falls were present for the guilty plea and sentencing hearing, the solicitor’s office said.