A Beaufort man was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday related to a shooting in Beaufort and robbery on Lady’s Island two years ago, according to a news release from the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Phillip Ronald Smalls Jr., 25, 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.
The news release details the case against Smalls in this way: On Oct. 5, 2015, he kicked open the door of a Southside Boulevard apartment and fired a 9 mm handgun at a man inside, striking him in the abdomen. Smalls also fired at a neighbor. He then drove over the McTeer Bridge and crashed into a tree. Officers found the car running, with the car’s doors open. Police found two handguns, one linking the defendant to the shooting.
In an unrelated incident Oct. 17, 2015, Smalls robbed the Shop N’ Go at 57 Sams Point Road. He demanded money, and the clerk handed over cash from the register and from under the counter, some of which was wrapped in orange packaging. Smalls was later found during a traffic stop.
“Wads of cash in orange packaging were found in his pockets,” Assistant Solicitor Mary Jordan Lempesis said in the release. “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.”
According to the Solicitor’s Office, Smalls’ criminal history includes convictions for third-degree burglary, simple possession of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine, petit larceny and unlawful carrying of a weapon.
He must serve no less than 85 percent of his sentence, the release says.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103