LAURENS, S.C. (WSPA) – A Laurens man has been convicted in the killing of a police informant in January 2021.

30-year-old Antone Blakely was convicted of murder, third degree assault and battery by mob, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

He was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

The 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said Blakely killed Jarius Byrd at his home on Spring Street.

The solicitor said Byrd worked as a confidential informant for the Laurens Police Department more than 10 years ago.

Blakely and others went to the Spring Street apartments where Byrd was staying, held him his in room, and assaulted him.

Byrd returned to the apartment a short time later to gather his things when Blakely shot him.

According to the solicitor’s office, public Facebook posts from Blakely were key in proving motive for the attack.

“When criminals create an atmosphere of fear where no one will cooperate with law enforcement then none of our communities are safe,” said Solicitor David Stumbo. “Jarius Byrd was killed for doing the right thing and we are glad that one of is killers will be spending most of his remaining days on earth behind bars.”