19-year-old Ravell McLaughlin won’t see life outside of a prison facility until he’s at least 40. The South Carolina teen pleaded guilty to 1st degree s-xual assault, armed robbery and kidnapping Tuesday (July 17) where he was promptly sentenced to 25 years in prison.
McLaughlin must complete at least 85 percent of his sentence to be eligible for parole.
He reportedly assaulted a woman at knifepoint after breaking into a Bennettsville, S.C. home, late last year. Another resident spotted the young man in the house at which point he ran way. There’s no denying McLaughlin was at the location, but there’s speculation behind his confession.
The Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office, Bennettsville police, Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigated evidence found at scene. DNA found at the scene matched McLaughlin’s, according to SLED.
During a pre-trial hearing Monday, Assistant Solicitor Shipp Daniels questioned investigators about how they interrogated McLaughlin.
Lieutenant Jamie Seals says McLaughlin was read his Miranda rights and gave statements freely and voluntarily.
He says they never threatened McLaughlin or coerced him to confess to the crime.
McLaughlin also consented to a DNA swab, according to Lt. Seals.
A video of McLaughlin’s interrogation was played for the judge.
In the video, McLaughlin described to investigators how he got inside the home.
McLaughlin said he saw a girl coming in his direction in the home, so he grabbed a box cutter, according to his statement to investigators.
He went on to tell investigators he asked the girl for some money and she grabbed her pocketbook.
During the videotaped confession, McLaughlin says he tried to have sex with the girl, but a man walked into the room so he ran away.
Assistant Solicitor Shipp Daniels issued a statement to NewsChannel 15 on this case.
“Due to the diligent and thorough work of Lt. Jamie Seales and the entire Marlboro County Sheriff’s Department, the Bennettsville Police Department, the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Department and SLED, the State’s case against Ravell McLaughlin concluded today with 25 years worth of justice being served for the victim and her family.
At a pre-trial hearing Monday (July 15), investigators were probed about their interrogation methods. “Some in the community have suggested this may have been a consensual relationship between the defendant and the victim. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Daniel added in the statement. “Every piece of evidence, including an hour-long confession by the defendant, the blood on the victim and the way the defendant cut a window screen in order to gain entry, pointed entirely to a burglary that resulted in r@pe.
“Throughout this difficult process, the victim and her family were as dignified and classy as they could have been. On behalf of Solicitor Will Rogers and Assistant Solicitor Mary Thomas Johnson Lee, I am thankful justice was served today for this young lady.”
The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that one in three black men will go to prison at some point in life. South Carolina is among three Southern areas with low college attendance stats for Black male teens, and incarcerations numbers much higher than the national average.
Photo: Carolina Live