Rock Hill man gets 30 years in 2009 killing

Davontay Henson
Davontay Henson

A Rock Hill man accused and convicted of murder as a teenager, but whose conviction and life sentence was thrown out over use of a co-defendant’s confession, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday afternoon after pleading guilty.

Davontay Henson, now 23, was convicted in 2011 for his role in the shooting death of teen Tyrone King on a porch after a robbery for drugs and money that netted only $25, a pack of cigarettes and two cellphones, said prosecutors Chris Epting and Willy Thompson. Others involved either were found guilty at trial or pleaded guilty and are in prison.

However, last year the S.C. Supreme Court overturned Henson’s conviction and ordered a new trial because prosecutors were allowed to use a redacted version of a co-defendant’s confession against Henson. The co-defendant, Donta Reid, 23, was convicted at the same trial of several charges and is serving 30 years in prison.

Henson had been jailed in York without bond since his conviction was overturned 14 months ago. He was on the run for almost a year after the incident before he was caught in Baltimore and gave police a phony name to try to hide from the murder charge.

Instead of a new trial, Henson pleaded guilty to murder, three counts of armed robbery and a gun charge under what is called an Alford plea, in which he admits there is enough evidence against him to convict him without admitting guilt. The plea is treated the same as a guilty plea and Judge John C. Hayes III sentenced Henson to 30 years, said Thompson, 16th Circuit deputy solicitor.

In the incident on a Byers Street porch, King was killed and robbed and two others were shot at and robbed.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065