Edgefield County man gets life in prison for murdering wife in 2019
EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - An Edgefield County jury found a man guilty of murdering his wife in 2019 and leaving her body along a roadway.
Michael Tirrell Means, now 39, has been sentenced to life in prison following his conviction for murder and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime for the shooting death of his wife, Yumonica Pate Means, in Edgefield County.
Circuit Court Judge Debra R. McCaslin imposed the life sentence after a jury trial last week. Under South Carolina law, Means is not eligible for parole.
On July 3, 2019, at 1:31 a.m., the Edgefield County 911 Center received a call from a 10-year-old child seeking assistance. Upon arrival, patrol officers discovered the body of Yumonica Means, age 46, in the roadway of a secluded area near a Peach Orchard at the intersection of Highway 191 and Yonce Pond Road near Johnston.
Evidence obtained during the investigation determined that Means lured his wife from her home in Aiken County to the Highway 191 location in Edgefield County under the ruse that he had been involved in a car accident. Means sent text messages to his wife claiming that he needed her to meet him at the location.
Ultimately, it was determined that Means had not been involved in an accident. According to testimony, he confronted his wife when she arrived regarding an ongoing marital dispute. Means then shot his wife while she was outside of her vehicle. The victim’s two young children were present at the scene when the crime occurred.
A forensic autopsy determined that she sustained a gunshot wound to the head which was immediately fatal. Investigators learned that Means purchased the gun in Georgia, through a private transaction without a background check, approximately two days before killing his wife. He was prohibited from purchasing a firearm due to his prior record and was on probation due to a recent conviction for receiving stolen goods.
Following the murder, Means fled the scene and traveled to Georgia. He abandoned a vehicle in Laurens County while he was on the run. He later turned himself in to law enforcement officers and confessed to shooting his wife in an audio-recorded statement.
Means has been transported to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin immediate service of the life sentence.
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