Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Jason Donn Lee, 40, was convicted Friday by a Lexington County jury. It took just about an hour of deliberations to find him guilty of the Murder of his estranged wife, Lindsey Lee. The jury also found Lee guilty of First-Degree Burglary. Judge Thomas W. Cooper presided over the trial and sentenced Lee to Life in prison. This is a no parole offense so Lee will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated after the trial, “This man brutally took Lindsey’s life and, today, I know her family and her friends will sleep a little easier knowing the man responsible for taking Lindsey from them will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
During the trial, testimony revealed that Jason Lee was experiencing severe financial troubles at the time. Jason and Lindsey had separated in April of 2016, and the divorce was to be final in April of 2017. On March 13, 2017, Lee drove from Simpsonville, SC to Lindsey’s home near South Congaree. He attacked her, choked her, and finally cut her throat.
The next day when Lindsey did not appear for work at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, a coworker went to her residence for a welfare check. That person noticed damage to the back door and called for backup. Lindsey was found dead in her bathtub, her throat slashed, and water running on her. Because Lindsey was an employee of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, the investigation was handled by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Dr. Janice Ross of Newberry Pathology performed an autopsy on Lindsey’s body. Dr. Ross testified that Lindsey had multiple bruises on her body, and evidence of strangulation. Her cause of death was excessive blood loss.
When Lee was interviewed by a SLED agent, without ever being asked, he began explaining his whereabouts on Monday evening, the day Lindsey was killed. He said his foot was hurting so he took pain medicine and went to sleep. When the agent asked about the scratches on his face, Lee said it was from dry shaving. Lee’s coworkers testified that he said a cat scratched him. Lee also said, without being asked, when he was about to go to work on Tuesday morning, he found his car was gone. He assumed it was repossessed because he was behind on the payments. The SLED agent found the car in a nearby Walmart parking lot without a tag.
Another SLED agent compiled video footage from Walmart, Days Inn, and Walgreens; along with Lee’s Fitbit data and GPS data from his work van. They testified that Lee removed his Fitbit for a twelve-hour period when the murder occurred. This was unusual based on his records. Evidence showed Lee drove into the parking lot at 5:17 a.m., parked his car, and walked back toward his apartment. Lee came back to the lot in his work van parking next to his car.
An agent testified Lee was in terrible financial trouble. He was being evicted from his apartment, was behind on his car payments, maxed out his only credit card, and had little money in his checking account. Lee owed Lindsey thirteen hundred dollars by court order. It had to be paid by the 1st of April. Lee’s coworker testified that Lindsey said she was going to put him in jail if he didn’t pay.
A woman he was dating, testified that prior to Lindsey’s murder, Lee was bitter that Lindsey was going to make thousands from the sale of their home near South Congaree. She testified that the day after Lindsey’s body was discovered, Lee told her his financial troubles were over and he was going to get the house.
SLED Crime Scene officers testified that they found three pieces of blue latex like gloves on the floor in Lindsey’s house. DNA testing revealed that Lee’s DNA as well as Lindsey’s DNA were found on the latex pieces.
Deputy Solicitor Shawn Graham and Solicitor Rick Hubbard handled the case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. During sentencing, Solicitor Hubbard remarked about “the heinous nature of this crime” describing that it “was so vicious” just prior to asking for a life sentence.
Lee will be transported to the South Carolina Department of Corrections to begin the immediate service of his sentence.