Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Kierin Marcellus Dennis, 24, of Lexington County, was found guilty of the murder of Da’vonNathaniel Capers by a jury after a six-day trial. The jury rejected Dennis’ claim of self-defense. He was sentenced to 30 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Under South Carolina Law, murder is classified as a “no parole” offense.
Da’von was 17 when he was stabbed in the chest by Dennis in the parking lot of the Cook Out restaurant in Lexington on the night of February 17, 2014. This incident took place following a contentious basketball game between Dutch Fork and Lexington High Schools.After the game, Dennis and his friends went to the Cook Out where many Dutch Fork students were celebrating. Video showed he and his friends remained in the restaurant a short time without incident before stepping outside to answer a phone call. While outside, video showed Dennis and his friends exchange words with a Dutch Fork student, prompting all the students in the restaurant to pour out into the parking lot. Although more insults were exchanged, there was no fight.
At some point, Dennis and his friends got into their vehicles and pulled into an adjoining parking lot talking. When they did pull away, Dennis accelerated his Ford Explorer into the crowd of students that were on the pavement. No one was injured yet.
The video showed he stopped and a group of Dutch Fork students gathered at Dennis’ window and shouted at him. He nodded his head for them to step closer. When Da’von stepped up, Dennis reached out the window and stabbed him in the chest with a knife. He was immediately taken to the Lexington Urgent Care several blocks away. From there, he was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.
After Dennis fled the scene, he went home. He immediately washed the clothes he was wearing and buried the murder weapon in a neighbor’s yard. He later explained to police he wanted to be sure there was no evidence on his clothing.Dennis initially denied stabbing Da’von during questioning. Several days later, with his attorney present, he confessed that he had stabbed Da’von, but claimed it was in self-defense. At the end of the video-taped interview, Dennis said, “I guess I thought I would get away with it. Nobody gets away with murder.
”Following the trial, Solicitor Rick Hubbard said, “This has been a long, hard, five-year wait for the Capers family. We are truly grateful for the jury’s decision and pray the Capers and all of Da’von’s friends can begin to move forward with their lives.”
(L) Kierin Marcellus Dennis (R) Da’von Nathaniel Capers