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Man charged with murder in fight over feral cats

Lexington, SC 12/04/2020 (Diana Nation) - Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green is updating the Town of Lexington community about an arrest made in the shooting death that occurred on Thursday, December 3, 2020.


At approximately 5:40 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 700 block of West Main Street for a shooting. Upon arrival, officers discovered 72 year old Judy Dyanne Burnett, of Gilbert, near the fence line behind the Town Square shopping center with a gunshot wound to the face. Officers immediately began rendering aid until Lexington County EMS arrived. Burnett died while being transported to the hospital.

Officers found Sean Eric Malahy, age 49 of Lexington, at the scene and in possession of a handgun. He was taken into investigative custody, declining to make a statement to detectives, and he was transported to the Lexington County Detention Center.


Prior to the shooting incident, Judy Burnett had gotten into an argument with a witness who was with Malahy about feeding feral cats . Malahy engaged in the argument with Burnett which subsequently turned into a physical fight. During this altercation, Malahy shot Burnett.


Through the investigation, it was discovered that Malahy and Burnett had known each other for a number of years. They apparently had ongoing disagreements about their own involvement in the feeding, trapping, and releasing of feral cats that are known to live behind businesses in the woods along West Main Street.


Sean Malahy has been charged with Murder and Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime. He is at the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing that is scheduled to be held Friday, December 4, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.


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