SC Supreme Court orders new trial for man serving life for 2009 Dillon County slaying

Damian Inman appeared before Dillon County 4th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Russo in 2010. | Source: WMBF News
Damian Inman appeared before Dillon County 4th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Russo in 2010. | Source: WMBF News

DILLON, SC (WMBF) - A new trial for has been ordered by the state Supreme Court for a man serving life in prison for the death of a 75-year-old Dillon County woman.

Damian Inman was found guilty of murder, kidnapping and armed robbery in the 2009 slaying of Mary Alice Stutts. He was 15 years old, at the time of the crime.

Inman and two other men were accused of killing Stutts after Dillon Police officers found the men driving her car. Read more, here.

But the justices threw out the conviction because of an error in jury selection.

Assistant Solicitor Ship Daniel and Defense Attorney Rosalyn Sellers chose from an expanded jury pool of more than 250 people.Sellers said more were people needed given the sensitivity of the case, back in 2010. Read more, here.

When the defense tried to strike a juror, the prosecution objected saying the juror was being eliminated only because his race, which is not allowed. The judge upheld the objection and the defense could not strike the juror.

In its appeal, the defense argued the man was struck because of his occupation, not race. The high court agreed and ordered a new trial.

No date for a retrial has been set.

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