HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A man who pleaded guilty to assaulting a 71-year-old woman has asked a judge for a lighter sentence.
Robert Lee Myers, of Horry County, pleaded guilty in 2019 to first-degree burglary, armed robbery, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in connection to the 2016 assault.
Myers is accused of throwing the woman to the ground, tying her up with an electrical cord, cutting off her clothing and sexually assaulting her. Afterward, he forced the woman to scrub herself with bleach and demanded money from her. She was able to get away and ran down the street to where Myrtle Beach officers were working at the scene of a vehicle crash. Investigators found his DNA at the scene.
Myers addressed a judge Friday at a post conviction relief hearing, where he asked for his 40-year sentence to be lessened.
Myers argued that his defense attorney at the time was ineffective. He said that he immediately asked for his sentence to be appealed and never heard back about his complaints against his defense attorney, Kia Wilson.
“Every time me and her spoke about my case, she just basically let me know she wasn’t going to work for me and she wasn’t going to help me,” Myers said in court. “I kept telling her well, I don’t want her on my case. “I wrote the clerk of court and filed a motion to relieve counsel or something like that and they said I couldn’t fire her, she had to fire herself.”
Wilson, the assistant public defender with the Fifteenth Circuit Court, said while she can’t recall their exact conversation, she says she explained the appeals process thoroughly to Myers, and doesn’t think he was confused about it.
“I can’t tell you what I wore that day either, but I know I had on clothes,” Wilson said. “I’m telling you that I would have covered that with him because I always cover those things with my clients before pleas.”
She said Myers wasn’t interested in a plea until the trial date, and didn’t know he wanted an appeal because he never asked for one.
Myers filed appeal paperwork more than a year after his conviction.
Myers said that at the time, he said he would take a 20 to 30-year plea deal, but didn’t want to accept the criminal sexual conduct charge. He said he didn’t know why it took so long to file the appeal, that he didn’t get any guidance about it and that it was sent back to him because a page wasn’t stamped.
The judge did not make any rulings during this PCR hearing. Count on News13 for updates.