LAURENS, SC (WSPA) – A man was sentenced to 55 years in prison after a jury convicted him in a deadly stabbing case from 2018.
According to a news release, Lutavious Denard Elmore, 33, of Laurens, was found guilty by a Laurens County jury of murder, first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection the brutal stabbing death of Sergio Lindsey, 28, in 2018.
Elmore reportedly went to the home of his ex-girlfriend after she did not answer several calls in October 2018. When he arrived, he found his ex-girlfriend and another man sleeping in a bed, and later admitted to watching the two of them sleep through the bedroom window.
According to the release, Elmore then removed his jacket, shoes and went into the home through an unlocked kitchen window.
Once inside, Elmore went to the bedroom and started assaulting Lindsey with a kitchen knife.
Elmore’s ex-girlfriend then reportedly woke up and later testified that she saw Elmore repeatedly stab Lindsey before she left the home. She then ran and hid under a parked vehicle under a neighbor’s carport.
According to the release, Elmore found her and then threatened to kill her.
Elmore reportedly told her that it was “her fault that he killed Lindsey and forced her to help him clean up the crime scene and dispose of Lindsey’s body.”
The woman was eventually able to escape the home and called 911.
“Elmore then doused the body with gasoline on the back patio and placed his clothes in a burn pile in a clearing behind the house. Investigators later found the smoldering pile of clothing, which had failed to burn completely,” according to the release. “Elmore fled the scene and was apprehended later that morning at his sister’s residence. Elmore gave investigators various versions of events, beginning with a complete denial of any involvement and then ending with a claim of self-defense.”
According to a news release, a forensic medical exam later revealed that Elmore stabbed Lindsey 18 times.
Circuit Judge Donald B. Hocker sentenced Elmore to 55 years in prison on the three charges, and state law requires that a sentence for murder means Elmore will not be eligible for parole.
According to the release, Elmore had prior convictions from 2004 for crimes including public disorderly conduct, strong arm robbery, malicious injury to property and entering a premises after warning.
“I cannot say enough about the dedication and professionalism of our entire team, (Laurens County)
Sheriff (Don) Reynolds’ crew, and all of the other agencies that worked on this case,” Solicitor David Stumbo said following the sentencing. “That commitment and relentless pursuit of justice directly led to this conviction and some closure for the Lindsey family. I am pleased to know that the citizens of Laurens County can sleep easier tonight knowing a brutal killer like Lutavious Elmore is off the streets.”
The case was also the first criminal jury trial held in South Carolina since courts were closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.