A Lancaster man will remain in prison after an appeals court ruled he was fairly convicted of burglary and assault in the attempted strangling of a woman during a 2014 apartment break-in, court records show.
Demario Thompson, 33, is serving a 15-year sentence after he was convicted by a jury in a 2015 trial. The woman told police Thompson “tried to kill her” and that he had a gun when he broke down her door and assaulted her after 4 a.m. on July 2, 2014, court records show.
The woman told police she was asleep when Thompson kicked the door off its hinges and came into her apartment and beat her.
Prosecutors introduced a trespass notice letter during the trial that showed Thompson had been banned from the property because of previous problems.
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Thompson appealed, claiming that the letter of trespass seen by the jury took away his right to a fair trial.
A three-judge panel for the S.C. Copurt of Appeal unanimously ruled Thompson had a fair trial.
The woman had injuries to her head and neck, and her clothes were torn when deputies arrived after she called 911 to report the attack. The appeals court panel ruled Thompson had intent to hurt the woman, and that he broke into her apartment without consent.