Man gets 15 years after pleading guilty in 2019 deadly hit-and-run case in Spartanburg Co.


Damaris S. Gaffney – Courtesy of Solicitor Barry Barnette’s office

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – A man was sentenced Monday after he pleaded guilty to a deadly hit-and-run crash from 2019.

According to a news release, Damaris S. Gaffney, 32, of Spartanburg County, pleaded guilty to hit-and-run involving death and driving under suspension following a May 18, 2019 deadly crash.

Christopher Dalton, 32, of Pacolet was killed in the crash and his body was discover at around 4 a.m. on Drayton Road near River Street.

According to the release, debris from the car helped troopers discover that Dalton was hit on the sidewalk and was knocked into the road.

At around 5:20 a.m., troopers found Gaffney’s car abandoned behind a nearby business and reportedly had damage consistent with hitting a pedestrian.

Gaffney’s mother had also reported the car as stolen at around 4:30 a.m.

According to the release, the “false stolen car report occurred after Gaffney told his mother he might have struck someone.”

Gaffney also pleaded guilty to second-offense driving under the influence and possession of crack cocaine for an alcohol-related wreck that happened on Nov. 26, 2018 at the intersection of South Irwin and Crescent avenues.

According to the release, Gaffney ran his vehicle off the side of the road and clipped a utility pole before hitting a tree.

Someone near the scene reported the crash to 911.

At the scene, police officers found a small baggie of crack cocaine in Gaffney’s possession, along with a spilled beer can in the car.

A search warrant and blood alcohol test later revealed that Gaffney had a BAC of .34, according to Assistant Solicitor Spenser Smith.

On Monday, Circuit Judge Derham Cole sentenced Gaffney to 20 years in prison, that was suspended to 15 years and five years of probation.

Gaffney received an additional 2 years of probation for the second-offense DUI conviction.

According to the release, his previous criminal record includes convictions for breaking into a motor vehicle, petty larceny, driving under suspension and second-degree burglary.

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