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Man sentenced in Gaston shooting

Lexington, SC - Eddie Louis Bass, III, a 30 year old Lexington County man, was sentenced this week to twenty-eight (28) years in prison for the shooting death of Malcolm Cruz Jones, age 27, which occurred in the Gaston area in 2018. Bass pled guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter last week in Lexington County and the sentence was handed down by Circuit Court Judge William P. Keesley. This charge is a “no parole” offense in South Carolina.

Information obtained by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department during the homicide investigation revealed that Bass was involved in the illegal trade of narcotics. Bass arrived at a residence on Blackville Road shortly after 12:50 am on January 31, 2018 and began an altercation with the victim. Bass and Jones had been acquaintances for several months prior to the shooting.

The investigation determined that Bass was armed with a handgun in his pants. Evidence obtained during the crime scene investigation and autopsy concluded that Bass assaulted Jones with the handgun, a Bersa Thunder 380, which resulted in blunt force injuries. Bass then fired the weapon, striking Jones with a .380 round.

Bass fled the scene following the shooting. He was later apprehended on February 14th, 2018 by deputies with the Lexington County Fugitive Task Force. The Bersa firearm used in the homicide was never recovered.

During the sentencing hearing, family members of Malcolm Cruz Jones, including his mother, expressed the impact of his death on their family and his three young children.

This case was investigated by Det. Joseph Andaloro and Sgt. Adam Creech of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department - Major Crimes Unit. The case was prosecuted by Deputy Solicitor Suzanne Mayes, Assistant Solicitor Sutania Fuller, and Assistant Solicitor La’Jessica Stringfellow of the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Bass has been transported to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin immediate service of his sentence.

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