GAFFNEY MAN RECEIVES 30-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE FOR DOMESTIC KILLING
A Gaffney man waited until the start of his murder trial this morning before deciding that he would admit that he shot his girlfriend to death.
After the Cherokee County jury was selected, James Wade Mickles, 50, of 396 Floyd Baker Blvd., pleaded guilty to murder before Circuit Judge Roger Couch. He admitted to shooting Sadie Mae Hemphill, 41, of Blacksburg, to death on June 13, 2004.
Couch sentenced Mickles to serve 30 years in prison. Deputy Solicitor Donnie Willingham didn’t offer any sentencing recommendations. Mickles must serve every day of the prison sentence.
“For practical purposes, this is a life sentence,” Willingham said. “The case had a great resolution. It keeps the Hemphill family from having to relive this tragedy at trial. Mr. Mickles is also receiving a punishment that is richly deserved.”
Blacksburg police found Hemphill when they responded to a shooting call about 5:30 p.m. at her Whisonant Street home. Hemphill was lying on her kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to her shoulder.
A witness identified Mickles as the shooter and he told authorities that he drove off in a white Nissan Maxima. He threw the 9mm gun out of a car window before police stopped his car minutes later. Police were able to recover the murder weapon. Mickles also admitted his guilt during a post-arrest interview with Blacksburg police.
Hemphill died later in the evening at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.