Lexington, SC 03/31/2023 (Paul Kirby) – Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard’s office said Friday afternoon that Christopher David Shumpert, 22, of Lexington County, was convicted Thursday for murdering Barry Joe Chavis, Jr. He was sentenced to 40 years without parole.
According to a spokesperson for Hubbard, Chavis was murdered by Shumpert on March 27, 2020, at 3630 Fish Hatchery Road in the Gaston area of Lexington County. In addition to the murder conviction, Shumpert was also sentenced to 20 years for Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature and 5 years for Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime. All these sentences are to run concurrently which means that if Shumpert does not do something to extend his sentence while in prison, he will still be more than 60-years-old when he is eligible to be released from prison. The sentence was imposed by Circuit Court Judge Debra R. McCaslin following a trial that lasted just 4 days.
Barry Joe Chavis, Jr. was 28 years old when he was shot and killed in his front yard after being confronted by Shumpert and a codefendant. They had been arguing about a small amount of money just prior to the time when the shots were fired. According to investigators, after the argument a brief altercation ensued. At that point Shumpert, and his codefendant, both fired guns toward Chavis, who was unarmed. Shumpert, who was armed with a 9mm handgun and his codefendant, who was armed with a .300 Blackout semiautomatic rifle, fired twenty-one rounds toward Chavis. Two rounds struck him in his back and he was killed instantly. Shumpert and his codefendant then fired 2 shots at another individua, striking this man once in the leg and once in the stomach. He was transported to the hospital for treatment and released days later.
Several witnesses at the scene immediately identified Shumpert and his codefendant as the shooters and law enforcement began a search for them. The codefendant was apprehended in Lexington County later that night while the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division's tracking team apprehended Shumpert at a hotel in Aiken County early the next morning. Both Shumpert and his codefendant were charged with Murder, Attempted Murder, and Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime. The codefendant’s charges have still not come to trial.
Sgt. Michael “Joe” Hart of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit led this investigation. The LCSD was assisted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputy Solicitor Rhonda W. Patterson and Assistant Solicitor Bradley Pogue prosecuted the case for the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Deputy Solicitor Patterson commented that “this senseless, cowardly, and brutal murder has destroyed three young lives and families. The family is grateful for justice and closure.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Christopher David Shumpert
PHOTO CATION: Barry Joe Chavis, Jr.