BRUTAL DOMESTIC ATTACK LEADS TO 25-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE FOR INMAN
An Inman man received a 25-year prison sentence today
for breaking into his former girlfriend’s apartment, slitting
her throat, cutting her daughter and setting the apartment home on
Willard S. Gasper, 52, of Inman, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary,
two counts of assault and battery with intent to kill and second-degree
arson before Circuit Judge Derhem Cole.
“When you take Mr. Gasper’s age into consideration, this
is essentially a life sentence,” Assistant Solicitor Bob Coler
said. “He will have plenty of time behind bars to think about
the consequences of some heinous acts.”
About 6:55 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2003, Inman police responded to a report
of a woman being cut at the Duvall Apartments on Culp Street. Misty
Hazard, 35, was found inside of her burning apartment with cuts on
her neck. Emergency workers found Hazard in a locked bathroom in the
rear of the apartment. She was unconscious. A paramedic thought she
was dead when he checked her pulse in three different places and couldn’t
Hazard’s 15-year-old daughter, Kimberly McElrath, was located
inside a neighbor’s apartment with a cut on her arm and blood
on her clothes. McElrath told investigators she was in her apartment
sleeping and Gasper woke her up when he cut her.
McElrath fled to fled to the neighbor’s apartment for help.
Less than an hour after police found Hazard and her daughter, Greenville
police stopped Gasper at the intersection of Laurens Road and Eastlin
Street for suspicion of driving under the influence. He had a bottle
of liquor in his hand when officers approached the car. Officers found
Hazard’s blood on his hands and clothing and gasoline on his
During their investigation, officers found that Gasper forced his
way into the home by using a bolt cutter to break a chain lock. Investigators
found two empty gas cans and a blood-stained knife inside the apartment.
For more information, contact Murray Glenn at 809-4892.