Union Daily Times

Thomas sentenced to 16 years in prison

UNION COUNTY — A Union man was sentenced to 16 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of shooting a man multiple times during an incident in 2016.

Najm Ahmad Thomas, 20, 103 Talley Drive, Union, was tried by jury in General Sessions Court last week in the Main Courtroom of the Union County Courthouse. Thomas was originally charged with attempted murder but the jury found him guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

After the jury rendered its verdict, Judge William McKinnon of Rock Hill sentenced Thomas to 16 years in prison with credit for 57 days already served and ordered him to pay $128.75 in fines and court costs.

Thomas was arrested Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 and charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with attempted murder in connection with the Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016 shooting of 19 year old Elizawon Malik Gray of Union.

In a statement announcing Thomas’ arrest, Union County Sheriff David Taylor said that 911 dispatchers received a call Sunday evening at approximately 9:30 p.m. about a person lying in the road on the 200 block of Munro Street. Taylor said that when deputies arrived they found Gray lying in the roadway with multiple gunshot wounds. He said that EMS was called to the scene and transported Gray to Union City Ballpark where he was airlifted to Spartanburg Medical Center. He said Gray was taken into surgery immediately upon arrival at Spartanburg Medical Center and was listed in critical condition in ICU.

On Monday, Taylor said that despite being shot 10 times, Gray made a full recovery.

Despite his wounds, Taylor said Gray was conscious when deputies arrived and was able to give them a description of the driver and the vehicle from which the shots were fired at him, hitting him multiple times as he walked down the road.

Taylor said that while EMS was administering medical attention to Gray, deputies observed a vehicle fitting the description given them by Gray at the intersection of Siam and Munro streets. When they approached the vehicle, Taylor said deputies noticed that the driver matched the description of the person described to them by the victim. He said the driver of the vehicle was identified as Thomas.

When they approached the vehicle, Taylor said deputies could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside it. Taylor said that when asked if he had marijuana, Thomas handed a deputy a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette. He was then placed under arrest and transported to the Union County Jail.

Deputies continued with the shooting investigation and the SLED Crime Scene Unit was called to process the crime scene. Taylor said a search warrant was obtained for Thomas’ car and the ensuing search turned up more marijuana, money, and a black 9mm automatic pistol. He said the pistol, which was located behind the glove compartment of the vehicle, matched the shell casings found at the scene.

Even though his office had charged Thomas with attempted murder in connection with the incident, Taylor that investigators had not yet been able to determine a motive for the shooting. Thomas, Taylor said, had asked for a lawyer.

When asked Monday about the motive for the shooting, Taylor declined to comment.

A bond hearing for Thomas was held the afternoon of his arrest at the Union County Jail. He was denied bond at that time and remained in jail until his initial appearance in General Sessions Court on Nov. 8, 2018. Thomas was granted bond and was still out on bond at the time of his trial.

In his 2016 statement, Taylor commended the people of the Munro Street area for the helpful assistance they gave law enforcement during the investigation of the incident. He said it was because of the information provided by both witnesses and the victim that law enforcement was able to quickly apprehend Thomas.

The following persons pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court in the Main Courtroom of the Union County Courthouse during the week of Aug. 20-23:

— Ledra Nakia Booker, 41, 224 Dallas Place, Spartanburg, to pointing or presenting a firearm, 5 years suspended upon 90 days and 3 years probation with credit for 38 days already served and to pay $643.75 in fines and court costs; to unlawful carrying of a firearm, 38 days with credit for 38 days already served and to $128.75 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently.

— Stacey Lynn Gregory, 37, 1362 Monarch Highway, Union, to financial transaction card fraud value $500 or less, one day with credit for one day already served and to pay $269.75 in restitution and $128.75 in fines and court costs.

— Thomas James Scarborough, 26, 345 New Hope Church Road, Union, to possession of marijuana greater than 28 grams 2nd offense, 1 year suspended upon 2 days and 18 months probation with credit for two days already served and to pay $283.25 in fines and court costs; to possession of a controlled substance 1st offense, 2 days with credit for two days already served and to pay $283.25 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently.

— Kimberly D. Shetley, 46, 614 South Main Street, Union, to resisting arrest, 12 months suspended upon 1 day and 12 months probation with credit for 1 day already served and to pay $128.75 in fines and court costs.

— Anthony Kennedy Smith, 56, 219 South Church Street, Apt. 5A, Union, to financial transaction card fraud less than $500 in six months, 1 day with credit for 1 day already served and to pay $128.75 in fines and court costs; to financial transaction card fraud less than $500 in six months, 6 months suspended upon 1 day and 1 year probation with credit for 1 day already served and to pay $499 in restitution and $643.75 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently.

— Charlie Henry Gladney III, 28, 221 East Main Street, Apt. 404, Union, to domestic violence 2nd degree, 3 years suspended upon 90 days and 2 years probation with credit for 15 days already served and to pay $643.75 in fines and court costs.

— Shane Michael Jones, 21, 112 Eubanks Street, Union, to grand larceny $2,000-$10,000, 3 years under the Youthful Offender Act suspended upon 2 days and 3 years probation with credit for 2 days already served and to pay $643.75 in fines and court costs.

— Elizabeth Dawn Stephens, 29, 1199 Sardis Road, Union, to habitual traffic offender, 15 months with credit for 6 days already served and to pay $103 in fines and court costs; to possession of a controlled substance, 15 months with credit for 6 days already served and to pay $283.25 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently.

— John Earl Turner, 52, 215 Belvue Drive #2, Union, to throwing bodily fluids, 140 days with credit for 140 days already served and to pay $128.75 in fines and court costs.

— Tanaya Murphy, 43, 402 Gage Avenue, Union, to financial transaction card theft, 2 years suspended upon 1 day and 2 years probation with credit for 1 day already served and to pay $70 in restitution and $643.75; to financial transaction card fraud, 1 day with credit for 1 day already served and to pay $128.75 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently.

— Bryan Scott Wade, 45, 233 Monroe Street, Union, to domestic violence 2nd degree, 30 months with credit for 1 day already served but no credit for home detention and to pay $128.75 in fines and court costs; to shoplifting 3rd or subsequent offense, 30 months with credit for 1 day already with credit for 1 day already served but no credit for home detention and to pay $70 in restitution and $128.75 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently.

— Lacey Elizabeth Whitlock, 31, 112 Flynn Street, Union, to forgery value less than $10,000, 5 years suspended upon 5 days and 5 years probation with credit for 5 days already served and to pay $3,770 in restitution and $643.75 in fines and court costs.

— Kimberly Dawn Neal, 29, 3121 Buffalo-West Springs Highway, Buffalo, to financial transaction card fraud more than $500, 5 years suspended upon 71 days and 5 years probation with credit for 71 days already served and to pay $431.34 in restitution and $128.75 in fines and court costs; to financial transaction card theft, 5 years suspended upon 71 days and 5 years probation with credit for 71 days already served and to pay $128.75 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently; to harboring an escaped convict, 5 years suspended upon 71 days and 5 years probation with credit for 71 days already served and to pay $643.75 in fines and court costs, sentences to run concurrently.

Charles Warner | The Union Times Najm Ahmad Thomas emerges from a bond hearing before a Union County Magistrate at the Union County Jail on the evening of Monday, Aug. 29, 2018. Thomas, 18, had been arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2018 that left one man lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. Thomas was denied bond at that time and remained in jail until his initial appearance in General Sessions Court on Nov. 8, 2018. In General Sessions Court last week, Thomas was found guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and sentences to 16 years in prison.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_web1_IMG_0006Thomas-1.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Najm Ahmad Thomas emerges from a bond hearing before a Union County Magistrate at the Union County Jail on the evening of Monday, Aug. 29, 2018. Thomas, 18, had been arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2018 that left one man lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. Thomas was denied bond at that time and remained in jail until his initial appearance in General Sessions Court on Nov. 8, 2018. In General Sessions Court last week, Thomas was found guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and sentences to 16 years in prison.
Guilty pleas heard in General Sessions Court

By Charles Warner

cwarner@uniondailytimes.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.