GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WBTW) — A Georgetown County man was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to multiple charges stemming from the home-invasion killing of a man in February 2021, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Joshua Dylan Leday, 27, of Andrews, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy, accessory before the fact of first-degree burglary, accessory before the fact of voluntary manslaughter and accessory before the fact of grand larceny, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
William “Bill” Butler II, 64, a Vietnam veteran, died from blunt-force trauma in the Feb. 10, 2021, incident after Leday and co-defendant William Powers went to his home on Gapway Road in Georgetown County to steal items thinking that no one was home, the solicitor’s office said.
Powers confessed to killing Butler and pleaded guilty in October 2022, the solicitor’s office said. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Powers and Leday gave statements to the Georgetown County Sheriff’s office indicating that Leday helped plan the burglary, drove Powers to the residence, helped destroy evidence and then split the proceeds of the burglary.
Both men said that Leday never entered the Butler’s home and that he was not responsible for the fatal blows. Their statements were corroborated by DNA evidence, the solicitor’s office said.
Leday also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a pistol and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The solicitor’s office said the items were found when authorities searched his home during the investigation.
“Initially, there were not many leads,” the solicitor’s office said in a news release. “However, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office was able to locate the stolen guns at Leday’s home based on recorded phone calls from the detention center where Leday described the firearms to a family member. After some of the guns and other stolen property were located via a search warrant at Leday’s residence, he gave statements to law enforcement leading them to Phillip Powers, who later admitted to the home invasion and to killing Mr. Butler.”
Leday also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and being a prisoner in possession of contraband, charges that resulted from offenses that occurred while he was at the Georgetown County Detention Center.
Circuit Judge Alex Hyman sentenced him to 19.5 years in prison for the accessory to burglary and accessory to manslaughter charges, 15 years on the fentanyl and methamphetamine charges, five years for the conspiracy, weapon, and marijuana charges, and 10 years for the contraband charge. The sentences will run concurrently.
He will have to serve 85% of the 19.5-year sentence before he is eligible to be considered for supervised release, the solicitor’s office said.
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Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.