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March 30, 2023

Columbia – On March 22, 2023, Genari McNeil was found guilty by a Richland County Jury of two (2) counts of Murder, Armed Robbery, Burglary First Degree, and Possession of a Weapon for his role in a 2019 home invasion that left two people dead.

On May 11, 2019, a 911 call was made at approximately 10 P.M. regarding shots fired at 221 Skyland Drive.  Columbia Police Department officers responded and upon entry they discovered the residents of that apartment, Jaquan Peterson and Mary Carmichael, had both been shot to death.  Three guns and over a dozen spent shell casings were located at the scene along with cash that was both scattered around the apartment and leading away from the scene.  A short time later, officers discovered the Defendant, Genari McNeil, had been dropped off at Prisma Health Richland with gunshot wounds to his wrist, leg and head.  McNeil was uncooperative as far as providing details of how he was shot.  Hospital surveillance video depicted McNeil’s arrival and showed another man, who covered his face with a t-shirt, placing McNeil into a wheelchair and pushing him into an elevator before fleeing the scene.

A review of Ring Doorbell cameras at the scene showed Jaquan Peterson arriving home while two men wearing ski masks and armed with pistols approached him from behind.  These men placed guns to Peterson’s head and pistol whipped him before forcing him into the home.  After Genari McNeil and his accomplice shot Jaquan Peterson, Mary Carmichael fired down upon the home invaders from an upstairs bedroom striking McNeil who subsequently left his blood at the scene.  McNeil and his accomplice then fired back at Carmichael killing her.

The trial began on March 20, 2023 and guilty verdicts were returned after approximately an hour and a half of jury deliberations.  The Honorable Robert Hood sentenced McNeil to two (2) consecutive life sentences for the murders of Jaquan Peterson and Mary Carmichael as well as 30 years in prison for the Armed Robbery, Burglary First Degree and Weapons charges.  Senior Assistant Solicitor Dale Scott and Assistant Solicitor Nick Fowler prosecuted the case for the Fifth Circuit Solicitors Office.

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