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California man convicted in Lexington County of Pelion murder

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Terry Renee McClure, 31, from Fairfield, California, was convicted Friday in Lexington County of the Murder of Tycus Toland and the Attempted Murder of his brother, Vonkeith Toland. The verdict came after a week-long trial.

After the jury returned their verdict, Judge Frank R. Addy, Jr., sentenced McClure to Life in the South Carolina Department of Corrections on the murder and 30 years on the attempted murder. McClure will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

Following the trial, Solicitor Rick Hubbard said, “Our office convicted the co-defendant in this case three years ago and this family has been waiting for complete closure. Today, they can sleep a little easier knowing the man responsible for destroying their family will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

On April 24, 2014, Terry McClure, of California, and Justin Butler of Alabama, traveled to Lexington County. Testimony revealed at trial proved that the two men met at the Atlanta Airport where McClure rented an SUV using his given name. After renting the vehicle, Butler contacted Vonkeith Toland under the ruse of buying a car from him. Two days later, McClure and Butler met Vonkeith and his brother and followed them to Vonkeith’s residence on Bushberry Road near Pelion to look at the automobile. McClure and Butler asked if they could test drive the vehicle and were allowed to do so. Shortly after returning to the home from the drive, McClure shot Tycus once in the back of the head. McClure then turned the gun on Vonkeith shooting him multiple times. He died as a result of that shooting.

Once one of the Toland brothers was dead and the other was seriously injured, the two attackers broke into Vonkeith’s home, ransacked it, and took the DVR connected to the home’s surveillance system. McClure and Butler returned to Atlanta after the shooting before they eventually fled back to their home states, respectively.

Detective Roy Mefford, formerly with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, along with several other detectives, quickly began working the difficult case. Cell phone tower location information played a major role in this investigation. These records showed that both McClure and Butler had been in South Carolina. A search of airline manifests revealed that only McClure traveled the specific route from California and back. This travel matched perfectly with his cell phone usage. Those records linked McClure to this crime.

The City of Fairfield Police Department detectives assisted local law enforcement officers with interviewing McClure in California. During the interview, McClure denied coming to South Carolina, knowing the victims, being with Butler, and committing the shootings in this case. However, during the trial, prosecutors showed the jury a fingerprint that was found in the vehicle at Vonkeith’s residence. They matched the fingerprint with McClure’s, proving that he had been in Lexington County.

McClure was no newcomer to the criminal justice system. He's had previous convictions for weapons and robbery. He has also had his parole revoked once after finding himself in prison for another crime. Butler was convicted for his part in the Pelion murder and attempted murder back in 2016 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Deputy Solicitor Shawn Graham and Assistant Solicitor Sutania A. Fuller handled the prosecution of this case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. The Solicitor’s staff also praised the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department for their investigative work. In turn, Lexington County investigators and prosecutors from the Eleventh Judicial Circuit thanked the Fairfield, California Police Department for their assistance. Several of their detectives flew here from California for the trial.

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