Hunter pleads guilty to Attempted Murder, other charges


Sinatra Hunter

Assistant Solicitor Monty Bell and victim Gloria Hawkins.

Fourth Circuit Solicitor Will Rogers announced that Sinatra Lashawn Hunter (45) pled guilty on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 for the March, 2022 Attempted Murder of Gloria Hawkins, an 82 year old Darlington grandmother.  In addition to Attempted Murder, Hunter also pled to Burglary 1st Degree, Armed Robbery, and Throwing Bodily Fluids.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Monty Bell, who originally sought a life without parole sentence.  

The incident occurred in Darlington in the early evening of March 21, 2022 when Hunter approached the victim in the yard of her home.  Hunter began by asking for money but the altercation quickly escalated to the physical assault and robbery of the victim.  The defendant threatened the victim with a box cutter, pushed her down causing a head injury, but the victim managed to flee inside to call police.  Hunter then pursued her inside, attacking her further.  After the defendant fled, the victim was able to take herself to neighbors to seek assistance.  Hunter was apprehended shortly thereafter by Darlington Police Department. 

“Society should not have to endure the actions of criminals like Sinatra Hunter” said Assistant Solicitor Bell.  “Ms. Hawkins was attacked in the place she should feel the safest, her yard and home.  No one, most of all our senior citizens, should be subjected to the terror of such an attack.”  After sentencing, Bell stated “I’m glad that justice has been served. This senseless violence by repeat offenders will not be tolerated.”  Hunter has a prior conviction for Voluntary Manslaughter from the 1990’s.

The victim, Gloria Hawkins, thanked the Fourth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, law enforcement, and Assistant Solicitor Bell after the plea.  “Monty Bell was with me every step of this case and I was confident I would have my day in court.  It gives me great comfort that this horrible criminal is locked away thanks to everyone’s efforts.”

Judge Kirk Griffin presided over the plea and sentenced the defendant to 25 years incarceration for the attack and one year consecutive for an incident of throwing bodily fluids while housed in the Darlington County Detention Center in pre-trial detention.  Hunter will serve his sentence in a facility determined by the South Carolina Department of Corrections.  Attempted Murder is classified as a violent and most serious crime, meaning the defendant will have to serve a minimum of 85% of his sentence.

Author: Stephan Drew

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