Exclusive NewsChannel 6 video helps solve burglary in Denmark, South Carolina; man sentenced to life

CSRA News

DENMARK, S.C. (WJBF) — A man will spend the rest of his life in prison following a burglary at a Denmark, South Carolina home.

“It feels wonderful. Since they’ve identified the person, you know, we’ve had zero problems,” Brad Jeffcoat told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

Shawn spoke with Jeffcoat back in December, he shared that his daughter came home from school and noticed the back door kicked in. This incident came on the heels of two other incidents at his home. Someone fired a single shot at his home. His dog was injured and later had to be put to sleep. The day after Thanksgiving, someone broke into his home and stole multiple items.

“Just for the person that did this, if he’s watching, I want him to know if you break into the house at the wrong time and I’m home, they won’t make it out the house,” he said when speaking with Shawn back in December.

Jeffcoat added some hardware to his arsenal, a new security camera.  That captured a picture of the suspect — carrying a large screen TV. NewsChannel 6 obtained the video for you, exclusively.

“Obviously it was noticed by someone in the North Police Department. I think that can be definitely said,” Assistant Solicitor of the Second Judicial Circuit Jackson Cooper said.

Now, 28-year-old Randy Chestnut is charged with the crime. His prior record will now force him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

“Basically this was a dead-end case. This was a case that was not going to be solved and it wasn’t going to be a prosecutable case,” Assistant Solicitor Cooper said.

South Carolina’s “two-strikes” law calls for mandatory life without parole when an offender’s conviction in a “most serious crime” is not his first. “Most serious crimes” are basically certain groups of serious crimes. “The law says must be sentenced to,” Assistant Solicitor Cooper stated.

Chestnut was previously convicted of first-offense third-degree burglary in 2008. He pleaded guilty to four felonies in 2010. 

Back to the most recent crime December of last year, it was charged as a burglary in the first degree. “He entered a dwelling and he had at least two prior convictions for burglary on his record which is considered an aggravating circumstance so burglary in the first degree is also a violent and most serious offense under South Carolina law,” Assistant Solicitor Cooper added.

In court, Lieutenant Linder with the Denmark Police Department testified that, on December 17, she was called by North Police Chief Lin Shirer in reference to this case. On December 18, Lieutenant Linder met with Officer Chestnut of the North Police Department. On December 19, Lieutenant Linder was approached by Randy Chestnut in Denmark, South Carolina and he told Lieutenant Linder,” Yo, Quan, my sister said I needed to talk with you.” He then went into confessing to the crime. 

Assistant Solicitor Cooper said that it was never testified to that officer Chestnut identified her brother.  “I argued to the jury that they could deduce that fact from the other surrounding facts,” he said.

There was a fingerprint collected from the doorknob by Lieutenant Linder as a part of her investigation. We’re told It was a print of no value for comparison. However, while officials were waiting for fingerprint analysis, Randy Chestnut made a phone call to an unidentifiable female that sealed the deal in this case.

“He stated that I already know that the print ain’t gonna be mine because I had on gloves the whole time. We go back, look at the video and sure enough, the person committing the burglaries definitely had on gloves. He also says in that phone call that there’s no case against me because of the conversation with Lt. Linder wasn’t recorded finally he said I guess we’ll find out in April. Which the trial went in April,” Assistant Solicitor Cooper shared.

Jeffcoat added that he didn’t want the outcome to turn this way but if you do the crime, you must do the time. “It just happened to be me, you know, but there are other people who had to deal with it. I just wish he had made better choices in his life. Everybody makes mistakes but some people learn from them and some people don’t,” he said.
 

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