Freddie Owens was sentenced to death by the State of South Carolina for the murder of Irene Graves during an armed robbery. According to court documents Freddie Owens would enter a Speedway convenience store where he would shoot and kill Irene Graves during an armed robbery. Freddie Owens would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
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Admission Date: 02/13/ 2003
Location: Broad River
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The charges against appellant stem from the 4:00 a.m. November 1, 1997, armed robbery of a Speedway convenience store and fatal shooting of the store’s clerk, Irene Graves. Appellant was jointly tried with co-defendant Stephen Andra Golden. During jury qualification, Golden pled guilty.
During trial, the State introduced the Speedway security video which recorded the robbery and shooting. The video reveals two individuals entered the store. One individual shot Graves.
Golden admitted he was one of the Speedway robbers and claimed appellant was his accomplice. He testified appellant shot Graves in the head after she stated she could not open the safe. No forensic evidence connected appellant to the crime scene.
Nakeo Vance testified he, Golden, appellant, and Lester Young planned to rob the Speedway and, simultaneously, a nearby Waffle House. Golden and appellant robbed the Speedway. Vance and Young went to the Waffle House but did not carry out the robbery. After the Speedway shooting and robbery, Vance testified appellant admitted he shot the store clerk.
Appellant’s girlfriend testified appellant told her he had robbed a store and shot the clerk.
Detective Wood and Investigator Willis testified appellant initially gave a written statement denying involvement in the Speedway robbery and shooting. According to both witnesses, appellant later admitted he shot Graves.
Appellant maintained he was at home in bed at the time of the Speedway robbery and shooting.1 He suggested the Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into the identity of Golden’s accomplice was inadequate. For instance, he asserted the Sheriff’s Department initially interviewed another individual who tested positive for gun powder residue, but failed to pursue this individual as a suspect. Alternatively, he suggested Vance was the accomplice. Appellant intimated witnesses who testified against him had various reasons to inculpate him in the crime. He also suggested witnesses falsely testified he made statements admitting he robbed the Speedway and shot the store clerk. Additionally, he claimed the Sheriff’s Department intimidated his mother into giving a written statement in which she asserted appellant admitted shooting the clerk. Appellant’s mother denied giving the statement.