A 27-year-old South Carolina man is facing a raft of charges including homicide in connection with a shooting at a West Columbia nightclub on Dec. 17. In addition to murder, the Columbia resident is charged with weapons possession, burglary, criminal conspiracy and assault in the first degree. Reports indicate that he was transported to the Lexington County Detention Center for processing after being taken into custody during a traffic stop on Dec. 21.

According to police, the man entered the nightclub and began discharging a weapon shortly after 2 a.m. Police say that they have not yet determined what the motive for the shooting may have been, but they do claim that physical evidence found at the scene led them to believe that the man was the perpetrator.

The incident, which left a 41-year-old man dead, is still under investigation according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. The public has been asked to provide information about any accomplices that may have been involved.

The penalties for violent crimes can be severe, but prosecutors may be willing to reduce them in return for a speedy conclusion. Juries tend to weigh evidence carefully when criminal defendants face decades of incarceration, and experienced criminal defense attorneys may urge prosecutors to accept a negotiated plea to avoid the uncertainties and costs to taxpayers of a prolonged trial. When these overtures are rejected, defense attorneys may be able to study police reports carefully to ensure that constitutional protections have not been violated. Attorneys might seek to have criminal charges dismissed when the rights of their clients appear to have been infringed.

Source: The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Deputies arrest suspect in weekend fatal shooting