‘Killing over nothing’: 16 shots in Rock Hill Facebook drug deal over ‘onion’

Ernest Markevius Thompson
Ernest Markevius Thompson York County Sheriff’s Office

The shooter in a fatal 2016 Rock Hill Facebook drug deal over an ounce of marijuana, often called an “onion,” has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Ernest Markevius Thompson, 23, of Lancaster, pleaded guilty Monday in court to the death of Isaiah Shinn, 20, in the May 2016 shooting.

Thompson also pleaded guilty to marijuana distribution, selling drugs in proximity to a park and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. The sentences for those guilty pleas run concurrent to the 15 years for manslaughter.

“This is another case of drug violence in Rock Hill, of killing over nothing,” said Willy Thompson, 16th Circuit deputy solicitor.

The deal for the marijuana was made through Facebook messages, Willy Thompson said. Arrangements were made to meet in the parking lot of the Cherry Laurel Apartments, just west of downtown Rock Hill, prosecutors said.

Shinn was in a car with two other people attempting to buy an ounce of marijuana from Thompson for about $275.

Ernest Thompson shot into the car 16 times, said Willy Thompson. Shinn was shot twice, including a fatal wound to the heart.

Ernest Thompson had given a statement that he saw someone in the car reaching for something, so he fired the gun, said both prosecutors and Ernest Thompson’s lawyers, Michael Brown and Zach Merritt.

“This was a drug deal gone bad,” Brown said. “But my client had the drugs ripped out of his hand. He took a defensive stance and fired.”

Brown said the victim and others in the car at the time were part of the same drug transaction, Brown said.

Ernest Thompson was captured later that day in a nearby apartment.