Call Collett: His landlord confessed to shooting him five times, but no one is being charged with a

A Lowcounty man was gunned down in his yard.  His landlord confessed to shooting him five times, but no one is being charged with a crime.

The victim’s mothers sat down with Rebecca Collett in an exclusive TV interview to explain why she believes justice isn’t being served.

Zachary Davanzo was the guy not satisfied with fitting in with a crowd.

“He looked like a grizzly bear,” his mother, Andrea Watson, says.

But Watson says looks are deceiving.

“He was a big teddy bear.”

Davanzo was her oldest son, and he was killed six months ago.   Davanzo was 23 when he was shot five times by one of his landlords last August.

He died in the backyard of the Ladson home he shared with those landlords, Breanne and Dwayne Sweatman.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office said it was a case of self- defense, but Watson isn’t buying that narrative.

“I took the insurance money, and I used it to travel back and forth and hire a private investigator,” she explained.  Watson lives in North Carolina.

Watson and her private investigators from Premier Investigative Associates told News 2 there are too many problems with the investigation into Davanzo’s death.

News 2 reviewed the Sheriff’s office records.

In one report, a deputy notes the solicitor’s office shut down the investigation on the day of the shooting.   The report says detectives were “advised by the solicitor’s office personnel that the (above) incident would not be prosecuted by their office”.   That decision was made before all the shell casings were collected or the autopsy was complete.

News 2 learned that decision was based on two suspects’ statements, which corroborated the story of what led to the shooting.  Watson’s problem is that the suspects are husband and wife.

According to their story, Davanzo attacked his landlord and roommate Dwayne Sweatman after the pair returned home from breakfast together.

Sweatman was armed with two guns at the time of the alleged attack, but it was his wife Breanne who admitted to shooting Davanzo while the two men were wrestling on the ground.

When News 2 first questioned the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office about the shooting, a spokesman wrote via email: “In this case the solicitor’s office determined that it was self-defense and therefore not a prosecutable crime. Once that happens there is nothing that we can do”.

“Justice isn’t being done, and it’s not fair” Watson said of that decision.

When News 2 pressed the Sheriff’s office,  a subsequent statement read: “After review the case and all available evidence, it was determined that this incident, however tragic, is not a prosecutable case under South Carolina law as the evidence was not sufficient to disprove the claims of self-defense… The Solicitor’s Office has expressed support for this decision”.

The home was known for being a drug house by neighbors, and deputies had responded there at least twice for disturbance calls.

In one incident, a neighbor reported seeing Dwayne chase his roommate down the street with a gun.

From the coroner’s report, we learned Davanzo had drugs in his system and had been shot at least twice at contact range.

“I don’t think any one person is responsible for what happened with my son’s case,” Watson said.  “I just want the truth.”

When we presented the discrepancies to the solicitor,   Scarlet Wilson said the initial report that her office shut down the investigation is an error, and she added that her office doesn’t have that power.   She concluded she supports the sheriff’s decision not to bring charges after reviewing the evidence.

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