ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - Jayson Tucker pleaded guilty to killing a man outside of Renew Our Community in downtown Rock Hill in 2017. Tucker will spend six years behind bars without parole.
As part of the plea agreement, the charge was switched to voluntary manslaughter.
York County Deputy Solicitor Willy Thompson says the six-year sentence may seem light for a voluntary manslaughter conviction, but due to the circumstances of the case it was a reasonable outcome.
Thompson says the Tucker and the victim, 32-year-old Antonio Roddey, had a history of quarrels.
In November, the two men were in the parking lot of the ROC (Renew Our Community). Thompson says Tucker was buying marijuana from Roddey.
Thompson says the two began to argue after Tucker complained about either the quality or quantity of the marijuana he bought from Roddey. Thompson says Roddey made a statement along the lines of 'I don't have to deal with this' pulled out a handgun and began to load it.
Tucker then pulled out a gun, shot Roddey in the head and left the scene on a bike. A paramedic nearby heard the gunshots and tried to save Roddey, but he had already died from the gunshot.
Thompson says it was better to take a plea deal and get some justice for the Roddey family, rather than risk going to trial and Tucker getting off.
The jury could have viewed Tucker's actions as self-defense, according to Thompson. However, because the killing happened as a result of illegal drug activity, the voluntary manslaughter charge stands.
During Tucker's bond hearing in November, the state of his mental health was brought up to the court. Thompson says Tucker was evaluated and a physician found that he was competent.
Tucker appeared to be off because he had been using marijuana nearly every day since he was a toddler and had a dependency on cannabis, the doctor found.
Thompson says more than 50 percent of the homicides in York County happen over buying or selling marijuana.