SPARTANBURG COUNTY MAN CONVICTED OF MURDER IN FATAL ABDUCTION OF LOCAL CLERK
A Spartanburg County man is responsible for the abduction, rape and murder of a local convenience store clerk.
A jury found Fredrick Evins, 36, guilty of murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and grand larceny in connection to the death of convenience store clerk 32-year-old Rhonda Ward of Spartanburg. The jury deliberated for about 70 minutes before issuing its verdict this afternoon.
The penalty phase of the trial will begin 2 p.m. Tuesday with Circuit Judge Ned Miller presiding. Jurors will decide whether to sentence Evins to death or life in prison.
Ward’s nude body was found in an apple orchard about a quarter-mile of the shoulder off Gano Drive on Feb. 15, 2003. Two days earlier, Evins took Ward from her job at Cigarettes 4 Less on Drayton Road, sexually assaulted her and stabbed her a dozen times in her arms and chest. He used the money he stole from her to fund a drug binge.
Seventh Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy, Principal Deputy Solicitor Barry Barnette and Assistant Solicitor John Anthony built their case through witness testimony, a written statement from Evins after his arrest and DNA evidence.