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December 6, 2022

On Friday, December 2, 2022, Charles Jason Carmichael, age 42, was found guilty by a Richland County Jury of two counts of Murder and two counts of Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime. The Honorable Clifton Newman sentenced Carmichael to life in prison.

Jurors heard testimony that during the early morning hours of March 13, 2021, the Defendant shot and killed his brother, Rufus Carmichael, and his brother’s partner, Ashli Haigler. The victims lived in West Columbia with their 5 year old son.  The day before, the Defendant had an argument with his brother and made threats to end his life.  The next day, the Defendant rented a U-HAUL truck and drove it to the victim’s home in West Columbia where he kidnapped him at gunpoint. The Defendant then drove the victim back to his residence on Koon Road where he shot and killed him.

A short time later, Ashli left home along with her 5 year old son to go look for the victim at the Defendant’s house. The Defendant lured her to a dead end road near the intersection of McCall and Malcolm where he shot her twice in the upper body.

During the shooting, Ashli and Rufus’ 5 year old son was hiding in the back of the truck. Residents in the area called 911 after seeing the 5 year old going door to door trying to get help for his mother. In the meantime, the Defendant fled in the U-HAUL to Aiken County where he dumped his brother’s body in a field before immediately driving back to his home in Richland County.

During the trial, a witness testified to hearing the argument between the defendant and his brother the day before, along with threats to end his brother’s life.  Another witness testified that she was with the Defendant the night before while he was making plans to kill his brother. Threatening text receipts were found on the Victim’s phone.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department arrested the Defendant as he left his residence driving the same U-HAUL.  They located evidence items in a trash bag inside the vehicle to blood soaked towels. The murder weapon was beside him and fired shell casings were in his pocket. Two pathologists and a firearms expert testified that the bullets collected from the two victims, as well as shell casings from the crime scene and out of the defendant’s pockets, were all fired from the murder weapon collected out of the U-HAUL.

Senior Assistant Solicitor Kathryn Cavanaugh prosecuted the case along with Assistant Solicitors Paul Walton and Grayson Hill.

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