DILLON, SC (WBTW) — A jury convicted Joshua Manning on all charges Wednesday afternoon for killing a Dillon store employee during a 2019 robbery.
The jury deliberated for about three hours before convicting Manning of murder, armed robbery, robbery, possession of a weapon in a violent crime, criminal association and petty larceny. He was later sentenced to life in prison.
The defense closed its case Wednesday morning after jurors received instructions from the judge. Opening statements in the case began Tuesday morning.
Manning was accused of killing JW Bailey during a robbery at his grocery store in December 2019. He was 77 and had owned JW Bailey’s Grocery for 47 years. His son, Keith Bailey, is Dillon’s fire chief.
“Use common sense,” Shipp Daniel of the 4th Circuit District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday. “It really is as simple as money, cigars, Mr. JW Bailey and the two men who robbed and killed him.”
The trial of the other suspect, William Mason, will take place separately. The defense said Mason was a “star witness” in the case. Edwards said all the evidence leads to Mason.
Prosecutors previously said they had a full confession from Mason and said there was enough evidence to convict both men.
The defense asked for a directed verdict, which the judge refused. A directed verdict asks a judge to declare that there is not enough evidence in a case for a jury to make a decision.
The defense did not call any witnesses on Thursday.
Keith Bailey was the state’s last witness on Thursday. He told the court he was exercising with his son when he learned the shooting had taken place at his father’s store. He testified that he went to the store and saw two paramedics over his father’s body.
“He was lying there, covered in blood, white, pretty much bled,” Keith Bailey said.