A Goose Creek man accused of killing his 14-year-old nephew possibly saved his own life today by avoiding a trial and a possible death sentence.
Donsurvi Chisolm, 32, pleaded guilty to murder in a Charleston County courtroom this morning. He also accepted a negotiated sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office was seriously considering the death penalty in this case if it would have gone to trial, according to Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.
The guilty plea, though, is an Alford plea, which means Chisolm possibly disputes some of the facts in the case, but knows the prosecution has enough evidence that could most likely convict him.
“I believe there is a strong possibility and I’m not willing to take that chance,” he told the judge.
Prosecutors said Chisolm shot and killed his nephew, Michael Chisolm, on April 1, 2010 at Donsurvi Chisolm’s Goose Creek home. He shot him after shooting his own brother, the teenager’s father, 33-year-old Dansa Chisolm in the face.
Having survived the injuries, his brother was in the courtroom this morning both to see justice for his son’s death and to support his brother, Donsurvi Chisolm.
“I forgive my brother,” he said in court. “I ask everyone to find the strength I have.”
Donsurvi Chisolm was out on bail and electronic monitoring awaiting a trial for a separate murder charge in Dorchester County when he killed his nephew, according to prosecutors. He was convicted of that murder last year and sentenced to life.
Today, he also pleaded guilty to assault and battery with intent to kill for the shooting of his brother, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. The 25-year sentence for the charges is served concurrently with the life sentence.
Read more in tomorrow’s editions of the Post and Courier.