The Charleston County Solicitor's Office is cheering a 24-year sentence handed down Tuesday to a man convicted of burglarizing two unoccupied condos and a vehicle.
In a prepared statement, the Solicitor's Office said Circuit Judge Clifton Newman had declared the defendant, 35-year-old Shawndell Q. McClenton, to be "one of the most notorious criminals in Charleston County."
McClenton was convicted of burglarizing two units at the Peninsula condominiums on James Island in early 2012, as well as a vehicle there. The Solicitor's Office said McClenton committed the burglaries while his infant son and the boy's mother waited in a car nearby, but alert neighbors called police and McClenton was caught while driving away.
"So many times people turn an eye to crime, but they acted," said Assistant Solicitor Timmy Finch, one of the prosecutors on the case, referring to the neighbors.
The next year, while McClenton was free awaiting trial, Charleston police put out a notice seeking the public's help to find him, saying that he was suspected in a rash of car break-ins. Days after that notice, Dorchester County deputies with a felony warrant in hand located McClenton at a Summerville mobile home park.
McClenton fled, however, driving off in a car with two juveniles as passengers, striking three Sheriff's Office cruisers and a mobile home before he was stopped.
Newman noted the multiple pending charges against McClenton when he handed down the lengthy sentence in the burglary case, the Solicitor's Office said.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552.
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