Crime & Courts

He asked for a ride to SC mall, then stabbed the driver when they got there, prosecutor says

Lennell Dyches II
Lennell Dyches II Seventh Circuit Solicitor's Office

A South Carolina man was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for stabbing another man who gave him a ride to an Upstate mall.

Lennell Dyches II, 23, pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and carjacking with great bodily injury, according to a release from the Seventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Circuit Court Judge Grace Knie sentenced Dyches to 30 years in prison, which was suspended to 15 years plus five years of probation. The sentence includes more than $3,600 in restitution, mental health treatment and no contact with the victim.

The suspended sentence means that if Dyches violates any of the terms of his sentence, he goes back to prison for the full 30-year term.

The violent carjacking happened in the early hours of May 31, 2018, when Spartanburg police found a man and a woman in the parking lot of WestGate Mall, according to the solicitor’s office. The man was covered in blood from multiple stab wounds.

Investigators later learned that Dyches and his girlfriend approached the couple at a convenience store at the intersection of S.C. highways 292 and 29, prosecutors said. Dyches asked for a ride to the mall, and the victim obliged.

When the car stopped near Costco, Dyches attacked the male victim and ordered the couple out of the Chevrolet Blazer, prosecutors said. Dyches and his girlfriend then drove away in the Blazer.

Police used the car’s tracking system to find the car in Landrum a short time later, prosecutors said. Dyches and his girlfriend were found near the vehicle. Surveillance footage from nearby businesses helped connect Dyches to the crime.

Dyches confessed to the crime after his arrest, but said his girlfriend knew nothing about the crimes, according to the solicitor’s office.

“Lennell Dyches is a very dangerous individual,” Solicitor Barry Barnette said. “He committed violent crimes on a good-natured person who was trying to help him.”

Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson walks though the legal process from the time someone is arrested until the time they are sentenced.

Teddy Kulmala covers breaking news for The State and covered crime and courts for seven years in Columbia, Rock Hill, Aiken and Lumberton, N.C. He graduated from Clemson University and grew up in Barnwell County.