DILLON, S.C. (WBTW) — A jury convicted Joshua Manning on all charges Wednesday afternoon for killing a Dillon store clerk during a robbery in 2019.
The jury deliberated for about three hours before convicting Manning of murder, armed robbery, larceny, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, criminal conspiracy and petty larceny. He was then sentenced to life in prison.
The defense rested its case Wednesday morning after jurors received instructions from the judge. Opening statements in the case began Tuesday morning.
Manning was accused of killing J.W. Bailey during a robbery at his grocery store in December 2019. He was 77 years old and had owned J.W. Bailey’s Grocery for 47 years. His son, Keith Bailey, is Dillon’s fire chief.
“Use your common sense,” said Shipp Daniel with the 4th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, said on Tuesday. “It really is as straightforward as some cash, some cigars, Mr. J.W. Bailey, and the two men who robbed and killed him.”
The trial for the other suspect, William Mason, will take place separately. The defense said Mason is a “star witness” in the case. Edwards said all evidence leads to Mason.
Prosecutors previously said they have a full confession from Mason and said there’s enough evidence to convict both men.
The defense has asked for a directed verdict, which the judge denied. A directed verdict calls for a judge to declare that there isn’t enough evidence in a case for a jury to make a decision.
The defense did not call any witnesses to the stand on Thursday.
Keith Bailey served as the state’s final witness Thursday. He told the court that he was exercising with his son when he learned that the shooting was at his father’s store. He testified that he went to the store and saw two paramedics over his father’s body.
“He was laying there, covered in blood, white, pretty much bled out,” Keith Bailey said.