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Shoplifting turns deadly at South Carolina Sears

Two shoplifters stand accused of causing the death of an 81-year-old man. The victim worked as a loss prevention officer for Sears and confronted the men as they were attempting to take two televisions on Aug. 22. The men pushed the employee down, and he hit his head on a concrete floor. He did not recover from the blunt force trauma to the head and died later at Palmetto Health Richland.

Store surveillance video recorded the altercation. Witnesses informed police about the vehicle driven by the two men, who succeeded in leaving with one television. The sheriff of Richland County said that law enforcement found one of the men at a house on Ferrell Drive. A traffic stop on the 7800 block of Two Notch Road resulted in the arrest of the second suspect.

State Law Enforcement Division records indicated that the suspects both have lengthy criminal histories going back decades. One of them had been arrested for shoplifting a total of 17 times, which produced nine convictions. The other man had previous convictions for assault and battery with intent to kill, domestic violence and drug charges. They currently face charges of murder and common law robbery.

A person facing accusations of violent crimes could seek advice from a criminal defense lawyer. An attorney could explain the potential penalties of a conviction and help the defendant choose between going to trial or seeking a plea bargain. An attorney might also question the severity of the charges if the evidence falls short of the legal standards necessary to support the charges.

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