Maulique Heyward (copy)

Maulique Heyward. Cannon Detention Center/Provided

A 22-year-old North Charleston man was sentenced to 45 years in prison this week after a jury found him guilty of shooting another man to death in 2016. 

Maulique Heyward, a resident of Wales Court, was convicted Thursday on one count each of murder and possessing a weapon while committing a violent crime, according to the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office, which prosecuted the case. 

The shooting happened on Dec. 19, 2016, according to the Solicitor's Office and the North Charleston Police Department.

Officers were called to a report of a shooting shortly after midnight at 4625 Lowell Drive and found the victim, 18-year-old Garrett Mitchell, authorities said. 

Mitchell, who'd suffered multiple gunshot wounds, was transported to a hospital, but later died, authorities said. 

Testimony during the trial revealed that a juvenile acquaintance of Heyward's lured Mitchell to the scene with the false promise of a drug deal, the Solicitor's Office said. When Mitchell arrived, Heyward and an unnamed co-defendant robbed Mitchell, who pulled out a pistol.

The three struggled over the gun. Eventually Heyward disarmed the victim. Mitchell pleaded for his life, but Heyward shot him three times, the Solicitor's Office said. 

Investigators identified Heyward as a suspect through tips and surveillance video, and brought him in for questioning the day after the shooting, the Solicitor's Office said. 

"Although denying having robbed the victim, he eventually admitted to shooting the victim, but claimed to have acted in self-defense," the Solicitor's Office said. "At trial, (prosecutors) introduced recordings of a number of incriminating phone calls made by the defendant from the Charleston County Detention Center."

In one of the calls, Heyward tells someone that he wanted to kill the juvenile witness who testified at the trial, the Solicitor's Office said. 

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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