CHARLESTON, SC (News Release) — Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson announced that a Charleston County jury found Kelvinisha Green guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and two counts of felony shoplifting on Thursday afternoon. Judge R. Ferrell Cothran, Jr. presided over the case.
On January 23, 2013, Kelvinisha Green, Lachavia Brownlee, and Shaneah Walker drove to Charleston from Miami, Florida on a mission to steal as much retail as they could. The trio stole approximately 1,193 various items from the Citadel Mall in West Ashley, the Northwoods Mall in North Charleston, and Town Centre in Mt. Pleasant.
Officer Michelle Johnson of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department was alerted and confronted the trio as they were leaving. Rather than surrender, the girls attempted to escape and in doing so Brownlee ran over Officer Johnson. A high speed chase ensued reaching speeds of 130 miles per hour. Eventually Brownlee crashed into a residential garage in North Charleston.
Testimony revealed that Officer Johnson suffered serious injuries as a result of the incident and was eventually forced to medically retire.
Assistant Solicitor Lietzow stated, “This was a series of poor decisions that escalated very quickly. We are thankful the jury provided a measure of justice for Officer Johnson and all of the law enforcement agencies involved in apprehending the defendants.”
Lachavia Brownlee drove during the pursuit. She pled guilty in July 2014. Her sentence was deferred and she testified in the trial against Kelvinisha Green. Judge Cothran sentenced her to ten years for the assault on the officer, five years for each shoplifting , and one year for crashing into a civilian vehicle to be run concurrent. Judge Cothran added an additional three years for the failure to stop for blue lights charge to be run consecutive to the other sentences for a total of thirteen years. Kelvinisha Green is currently a fugitive from justice after refusing to appear for her trial. As a result, her sentence was sealed by the court and will be revealed when she is apprehended by law enforcement. Shaneah Walker, who jumped into the car after the officer was injured, pled guilty to two counts of shoplifting over $2000 and was sentenced by Judge Kristi Harrington to a shock youth offender sentence.
Assistant Solicitors Chris Lietzow and Culver Kidd prosecuted the case on behalf of the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Patricia Kennedy and Lorelle Proctor of the Ninth Circuit Public Defender’s office represented Kelvinisha Green. Christina Parnall of the Ninth Circuit Public Defender’s office represented Lachavia Brownlee.