South Carolina

Burglar who shot himself in the leg during deadly SC home invasion gets life in prison

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A South Carolina man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty in a deadly 2016 home invasion, during which he accidentally shot himself in the leg.

Byron Labron Rivers, 26, was found guilty by a Charleston County jury last week on charges of murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of attempted murder, three counts of armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to a release Monday from the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Circuit Court Judge Jennifer McCoy sentenced Rivers to the maximum sentence allowed on each charge, which included life in prison without parole for the murder of Kirby Fyall.

Prosecutors said that Rivers and a codefendant, Stacy Green, stormed into a North Charleston home July 15, 2016, and demanded money. Immediately after entering the home, Rivers shot a guest in the head.

“That victim miraculously survived and alerted neighbors after jumping through a glass window to escape,” the solicitor’s office said in the release.

The armed intruders forced the remaining occupants of the home to the ground at gunpoint and told them to remove their pants, rifling through their belongings, prosecutors said. When Fyall rushed Rivers to protect his family, Rivers shot and killed him.

Rivers then shot a third victim before accidentally shooting himself in the leg, prosecutors said. The two suspects tried to escape to a waiting vehicle but were stopped and held by bystanders until police arrived.

In the U.S., a private citizen can “arrest” an individual engaged in a serious crime, but the rules vary by state.

Witnesses said Rivers and Green shared a pair of mittens, each wearing one mitten on his right hand, prosecutors said. DNA and firearms experts tied Rivers to the murder weapon, and a recorded telephone call made by Rivers detailed the crimes.

“The victims and witnesses in this case deserve a lot of credit for stepping up, coming forward and participating in the prosecution of Byron Rivers,” Assistant Solicitor Chris Lietzow said in the release.

Green pleaded guilty to charges from the home invasion in March and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Teddy Kulmala covers breaking news for The State and covered crime and courts for seven years in Columbia, Rock Hill, Aiken and Lumberton, N.C. He graduated from Clemson University and grew up in Barnwell County.

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