CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Nearly four years to the day an Horry County convenience store clerk was killed during an armed robbery, one of the suspects pleaded guilty Tuesday.
37-year-old McKinley Daniels of Loris was sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in that 2015 robbery and for murder in another one a few weeks before it. Daniels will get credit for a little more than 1,000 days of time served.
Samantha Stull had nothing to say to Daniels at Tuesday’s hearing, after he pleaded guilty to armed robbery in the January 25, 2015 murder of her sister Trisha.
“We would just like to thank the court system and the solicitors for doing the job they’ve done, as we come up on four years since Trish has been killed on Friday,” Samantha Stull said. “We thank the court for everything that they’ve done. We wish it could be more, but we thank you for what you have done.”
Prosecutors say Daniels did not have a weapon, but helped rob the Sunhouse convenience store just north of Conway, where Jerome Jenkins is accused of shooting and killing Trisha Stull, who worked at the store.
Horry County judge Robert Hood thanked the Stull family for their help.
“I know that nothing that I do here today can make anything better because having her back is the only thing that would make anything better,” Hood said to Samantha Stull.
Daniels also pleaded guilty to murder in the January 2, 2015 shooting death of Bala Paruchuri at a Sunhouse store on South Carolina Highway 905 near Longs.
Prosecutors say Jenkins and Daniels shot Paruchuri.
“On the way out, after full compliance with their demands, both individuals are seen on video firing multiple rounds,” said 15th circuit chief deputy solicitor Scott Hixson.
Daniels’s plea deal doesn’t require him to cooperate and he says he won’t testify against anyone else.
“This plea right here is for me,” Daniels said in court Tuesday. “This right here doesn’t have anything to do with me coming back to court. Whatever the rest of my codefendants got going on with them, that’s for them. I’ve got nothing to do with that.”
Daniels has ten days to appeal and lesser charges against him were dropped in the plea deal. The 15th Circuit Solicitor had previously sought the death penalty against Daniels.
In August, McKinley’s brother James Daniels was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2015 Sunhouse shootings.
Jenkins also appeared in court Tuesday. A prison warden testified about Jenkins’s bad behavior while in custody, including using a weapon.
Jenkins is still awaiting trial.