By DEUCE NIVEN
A gunshot, not her leap from a moving car, killed a Whiteville woman in the Williams Township area two years ago, a Columbus County jury ruled Thursday.
William Jacoby Singletary, 31, of Hwy 410, Bladenboro, was convicted of second degree murder two years to the day after Monalisa McMillian, 19, of West End Drive in Whiteville, was found deceased near US 701 within sight of Williams Township School before 8 a.m. on that Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Jurors took less than two hours to deliver the guilty verdict. Superior Court Judge Claire Hill sentenced Singletary to serve from 375 to 462 months in prison.
“As a result of this verdict, the defendant will spend 31-38 years in prison,” said a news release from Jon David, District Attorney for the Fifteenth prosecutorial district.
Witnesses at Williams County Kitchen, just across F.M Cartret Road from Williams Township School, “ observed McMillian jump from the vehicle as it was traveling approximately 55 mph,” the news release said. “McMillian leapt from the roadway, ran to a neighboring yard, and collapsed. A bystander called 911.”
Singletary, who was driving the silver Mazda 6 McMillian fled, was “kneeling over McMillian’s lifeless body” when first responders arrived, just minutes later. “McMillian never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead upon arrival at Columbus Regional Hospital,” the news release said.
Singletary spoke with Det. Paul Rockenbach of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office on the scene, and said he and McMillian were dating, that they had been arguing about him texting other women, and that she jumped from the car during the argument, the news release said.
That story fell apart quickly, when another detective at the hospital reported that McMillian had been shot in the left side of her back. Detectives found a .22 caliber pistol under the driver’s seat of the Mazda, and a spent .22 caliber shell casing.
Ballistics testing confirmed that the bullet taken from McMillan’s body and the shell casing in the car were both from the gun retrieved from under Singletary’s seat.
“A medical examiner testified that McMillian had suffered a gunshot wound that perforated her liver, stomach, and diaphragm, resulting in her death,” the news release said.
Look for more on this story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.