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McKeever pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter

Posted: May 10, 2018 3:33 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2018 1:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Therine Bernadine McKeever

A Camden man originally arrested for murdering his common law wife in May 2016 pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter. According to online Kershaw County Clerk of Court records, a circuit court judge sentenced Therine Bernadine McKeever, 50, of Camden, to 30 years in prison with credit for the nearly two years he spent detained at the Kershaw County Detention Center.

Those online records list two addresses for McKeever, on Wateree Boulevard and Garden Street.

Clerk of court records also show McKeever pleaded guilty to the unlawful carrying of a weapon, for which he was sentenced to one year in prison, but nullified by the time spent at the county jail.

County investigators had also charged McKeever with possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony, third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a minor between the ages of 14 and 16, and disseminating harmful material or exhibiting a harmful performance to a minor. Deputies made the sex-realted charges after his murder arrest. Online records show those charges were nolle prosequi indicted on Monday, amounting to their dismissal.

According to a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) press release at the time, deputies arrested McKeever around 4:30 a.m. May 29, 2016, at a West DeKalb Street motel in Camden. Kershaw County Coroner identified the victim as McKeever’s common law wife, Persis “Precious” Prudence Prescott, 31, of Chestnut Ferry Road, and said she died of a gunshot wound to the face.

Deputies reportedly found McKeever trying to leave the motel on foot while concealing what turned out to be a .357 magnum revolver. He reportedly admitted he’d discharged the gun in one of the motel rooms and thought he may have shot Prescott. Deputies forced their way into the room where they discovered Prescott lying face up with the gunshot wound to her face. While investigators made their way to the scene, McKeever reportedly admitted to shooting Prescott following what he said was a year-long argument.

At the time, KCSO officials said McKeever had a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1984, including housebreaking, grand larceny, multiple counts of assault and battery, multiple counts of criminal domestic violence, assault and battery with intent to kill, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

According to online records, McKeever pleaded guilty to the housebreaking charge in December 1984 when he was 17 years old and sentenced to six years as a youthful offender. He pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in February 2005 for an August 2004 incident. A judge sentenced him then to one year in prison, suspended to 90 days and time served.

A judge denied McKeever bond in 2016, leading to his waiting two years to come to trial and his guilty plea on Monday.

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