A 25-year-old Beaufort man was sentenced to 15 years in prison at the Beaufort County Courthouse on Tuesday in connection with two 2015 crimes, according to a 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office news release.
Phillip Ronald Smalls Jr. pleaded guilty to armed robbery, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to the Solicitor’s Office. He must serve at least 85 percent of the 15-year prison sentence.
Smalls’ convictions stemmed from two October 2015 incidents, according to the release. On Oct. 5, he kicked open an apartment door on Southside Boulevard in Beaufort, shot a man in the abdomen and shot at — but missed — a second man who was the intended target. He then drove across the McTeer Bridge and crashed into a tree. Officers found the car still running and two handguns inside.
On Oct. 17, Smalls robbed the Sams Point Road Shop N’ Go on Lady’s Island, according to the release. He was later found with the cash during a traffic stop.
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“Wads of cash in orange packaging were found in his pockets,” Assistant Solicitor Mary Jordan Lempesis said. “Not only was he seen on the in-store video, but the initials written on the money’s distinct packaging were made by the convenience store clerk who counted the money at the beginning of her shift.”
Smalls’ criminal history includes a number of misdemeanor convictions, including assault and drug-related offenses, according to the release.