Chester senior citizen on trial after he stabbed his cousin/roommate to death
A 70-year-old Chester man will be in prison until he is 80 after a jury found him guilty of manslaughter in the stabbing death of his cousin in 2015.
Prosecutors tried Melvin Fourney on a murder charge after Fourney admitted to stabbing Leonard “Buster” Hayes, 47, in the home the cousins shared in September 2015.
Candice Lively, 6th Circuit deputy solicitor, told jurors Fourney plunged the knife into Hayes’ heart because Fourney was “old and ornery” and sick of his cousin.
Fourney’s lawyer, 6th Circuit Deputy Public Defender William Frick, argued the killing was self-defense.
Jurors chose neither murder nor self-defense, opting to convict Fourney on the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter, according to court officials. The jury also convicted Fourney of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Voluntary manslaughter in South Carolina carries a sentence of two to 30 years, and the weapon charge carries up to five years. Judge Brian Gibbons sentenced Fourney to 10 years for voluntary manslaughter, with five years for the weapon to run concurrent with the manslaughter sentence.
Frick, Fourney’s lawyer, said after the trial Fourney will appeal the conviction. Fourney had no criminal record before Wednesday’s conviction.