MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A jury has found Robert Ware guilty of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Randy Banks at the Wave Rider Resort in August 2014, court officials confirmed Thursday.
Robert Ware, 54, was arrested on the morning of Thursday, August 7, 2014, hours after Banks, 49 years old at the time, died after being shot in the chest at the Wave Rider Resort in Myrtle Beach.
On Thursday, after a four-day trial, a jury spent about two hours deliberating before they found Ware guilty of first-degree murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Ware was sentenced to life in prison for the murder, plus five years for the weapon charge.
Randy Banks' loved ones said this murder was act of kindness gone terribly wrong. They said Banks took in Ware and gave him a place to stay at the Wave Rider Resort.
"He was a good guy - he worked his butt off - he would have given you the shirt of his back," said Tom McCarthy, a good friend of the victim. "He was an extremely, extremely warm person."
His friends and loved ones called him Wahoo. Loved ones say Banks was working with Robert Ware for the past couple of weeks and when Ware didn't have a place to stay, Banks took him in.
"They gave him a place to stay...Randy would do anything for anybody. He just had a big heart," McCarthy said.
Witnesses say after a few days, things started to get ugly.
"He was staying drunk and they were doing the painting and he wasn't doing what he was supposed to, so Randy asked him to leave," McCarthy added.
Witnesses say after Ware was asked to leave, he came back later that night and a fight started. The couple told him he could stay one more night - they would talk about it in the morning, but the witness says Ware pulled out a gun.
Banks' girlfriend, Sabrina Boatwright, says Ware used a rifle that he had stashed under the pillow.
After Ware shot Banks, he walked down the hall with that gun, Boatwright said. Police say they found him with a gun around 7 a.m. and charged him with murder.