Derrick Burnside

Derrick Burnside faces the rest of his life behind bars for the July 2018 murder of his ex-girlfriend.

SPARTANBRUG, SC (FOX Carolina) - 46-year-old Derrick Burnside will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he pleaded guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend in 2018.

No bond for man charged with murder after woman found dead in car outside her business

LaTonya Michelle Richards (Source: Shaunna Thomas)

According to solicitor Barry Barnette, Burnside pleaded guilty on November 20, 2019, more than one year after he shot and killed 35-year-old Latonya Richards outside of her own business, Phresh Threadz.

The shooting unfolded on July 22, 2018, just days after the solicitor said Richards told Burnside she wanted to end the relationship. Barnette says surveillance video captured the two fighting inside Phresh Threadz before Burnside brandished a handgun and shot her. It was then that Richards retreated to her SUV, only to be shot a second time by Burnside.

Wellford police would later find her body in the front seat of the SUV, and it wasn't long before Burnside was arrested; Barnette says Burnside fled the scene in a car, which he wrecked on Irby Road near his home. He was taken into custody by South Carolina Highway Patrol and Spartanburg County deputies. He would confess to the shooting in a post-arrest interview.

Burnside was also charged for unlawful possession of a firearm and driving under the influence.

“This case is a good illustration of the deadly potential of domestic violence,” Barnette said in a statement. “Derrick Burnside schemed to take the life of a person he couldn’t be with any more. I hope he spends the balance of his life in prison thinking about the consequences of his pathetic actions.”

Burnside is not eligible for parole or early release, meaning he will serve every day of his sentence.

Burnside's criminal record includes two previous convictions for domestic violence, 2nd degree burglary, grand larceny, and giving false information to police.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF THIS CASE:

No bond for man charged with murder after woman found dead in car outside her business

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