St. Helena man sentenced to life in 2015 murder, kidnapping
Tyrone Anthony Wallace Jr., was found guilty Friday of the Oct. 25, 2015, killing of 38-year-old Vermon "Mony" Steve and the kidnapping of a second man.
Wallace is the fourth person convicted in connection with the death of Steve, whose burned remains were found Nov. 18, 2015, on the shoulder of Pea Patch Road on St. Helena Island. Steve’s mother had reported him missing three weeks earlier.
Wallace’s convictions followed four days of testimony from 16 prosecution witnesses in Beaufort County General Sessions Court. He is to serve life in prison for murder and 25 years for kidnapping. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
“Choices. We make thousands of choices every day; choices that map out our lives. At the end of the day, the only reason the defendant is here is because of the choices he made on Oct. 25, 2015,” said Mary Jones of the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office Career Criminal Unit, who prosecuted the case.
On the day Steve went missing, Steve and his friend planned to meet at Steve's Green Street house. However, Steve was not home when he arrived. Instead, Steve's friend was met by Wallace and Varsheen “Twiz” Smith, a former federal convict who was briefly Steve’s roommate.
The man was held at gunpoint, bound and gagged with a chemical-soaked rag as Smith and Wallace demanded to know Steve’s whereabouts. The man was eventually released when a Beaufort Police vehicle, responding to another call for service, drove past the house.
In February, Smith was prosecuted by Jones and convicted of kidnapping. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. On Friday, Wallace also was convicted of the kidnapping.
Jurors listened to more than 10 hours of recorded police interviews with Wallace. In the videos, Wallace tells Beaufort Police investigators, "I heard someone coming in the house. ...I just started shooting."
Steve's charred shirt showed he was shot in the back multiple times.
“He was discarded like a piece of garbage,” Jones said.
Steve’s remains were found 23 days later.
Jones is a member of the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office Career Criminal Unit, a team that prosecutes the circuit's most violent and habitual offenders. The team has earned convictions against more than 300 defendants since its inception in 2008. Wallace's conviction is the 20th Career Criminal conviction Jones as secured.