A Thomson man was sentenced to 30 years, with 10 to be served in jail after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Khiry D. Boyd, 29, of the 400 block of Bussey Ave. pleaded guilty to the charges stemming from the shooting of Steven B. Collins on June 18, 2016.
He pleaded guilty prior to the start of an Oct. 31 felony bench trial before Judge Britt Hammond in McDuffie County Superior Court.
According to Rindi Harbeson, the chief assistant district attorney for the Toombs Judicial Circuit, Boyd reached out to Collins to purchase marijuana. Collins and two individuals came from the Augusta area and met Boyd at Washington Place Apartments on Old Washington Road to make a sale of marijuana.
“Collins knew Boyd,” the assistant district attorney ֩said as she outlined the case. When Collins arrived at the apartment complex, he contacted Boyd and went to the designated apartment. “Collins said he got a funny feeling when he saw some people in the apartment and left quickly,” Harbeson said.
Collins returned to the car and told the people in the car that something was wrong with the situation and he got in the backseat and they drove off. “He saw Mr. Boyd chasing after him with an AK-47 type firearm and as they drove away, he said he heard shots that were consistent with an AK-47.”
The bullets pierced the vehicle and Collins was shot in the leg. “A bullet passed through the vehicle and the seat, went through one leg and lodged in the other leg,” Harbeson said.
The driver, being unfamiliar with Thomson, tried to find the hospital for the wounded Collins. Erratic driving, driving on the wrong side of the Thomson bypass and riding with hazard lights on drew the attention of a McDuffie County deputy. After the deputy learned what happened, the deputy escorted the vehicle to University Hospital McDuffie.
The deputy alerted the Sheriff’s Office to the shooting of Collins and investigators arrived at the hospital to get an accurate picture of what occurred.
“Law enforcement was unable to talk to Mr. Collins for 11 or 12 days because of his very serious medical situation but they developed suspects pretty quickly,” Harbeson said. “Collins later identified Mr. Boyd as the person who set up the drug deal and also as the shooter,” she added. “The bullet is still there. It could not be removed,” Harbeson said.
Boyd was arrested July 8, 2016 and charged with four counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission or attempt to commit a felony and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He had been convicted of a gang charge in McDuffie County on Nov. 18, 2010.
After pleading guilty to aggravated assault upon Collins and possession of firearm by a convicted felon on Oct. 31, Boyd was sentenced to 30 years, with 10 to be served in jail and the balance on probation. Boyd has to pay a $1,000 fine and restitution of $264, 471.00.
A codefendant, Cornelius Buntley, who was also scheduled to have a bench trial on Oct. 28, did not appear for his case. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued. He has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in the commission of or attempt to commit a crime
“We don’t condone anything that Mr. Collins did but we take shootings seriously,” Harbeson said. “This is a very serious case where he almost lost his life. We won’t tolerate gun violence,” she said.