BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man has been convicted of shooting and killing a teen and sexually assaulting the victim’s girlfriend more than 35 years ago.
A Beaufort County jury convicted Isaiah Gadson, 65, of Burton of murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and rape on Thursday, news outlets reported.
“For 36 years, Isaiah Gadson thought he got away with it,” Prosecutor Hunter Swanson said in closing arguments.
Gadson’s relatives pleaded for leniency before he was sentenced.
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A niece, Yolanda Yvette Young, spoke to Circuit Judge Brooks Goldsmith.
“I believe in positive things that have come from my uncle, Young said.
Gadson was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
David Krulewicz, 18, of Coosaw Island was killed and his 15-year-old girlfriend was attacked in a van in a remote area near Burton in January 1980.
The rape victim, now in her 50s, told the judge, “I have lived in fear all these years.” Gadson was identified by DNA testing on the victim’s clothing and was arrested in 2016.
The case had been reopened in 1999 when Sheriff P.J. Tanner established a cold case unit. DNA from the victim was sent to the State Law Enforcement Division for testing and then was put in a national database, where a match was eventually found.