Murder suspect who shot victims in back of head during robbery sentenced to life without parole

LEXINGTON, SC (WOLO)  – A Lexington County Judge has sentenced a convicted murderer to two life sentences for shooting two victims in the back of the head during a robbery in 2018.

File: Man accused of execution style murders arrested

It took a jury 45 minutes to convict Damien Ritter, a 28 year old man from Estill, South Carolina, for the murder of Samir Atkins, 26, and Elzie Mack, 41.

The jury also returned convictions of Attempted Murder, Kidnapping, and Armed Robbery.

A third victim was shot but survived and was able to testify against Ritter during trial.

Here’s a description of the crime from the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office:

Once Ritter arrived in West Columbia, he contacted his cousin Samir Atkins from an unknown number. Moments later, Ritter arrived at Samir’s apartment on Glenn Street in West Columbia.

The surviving victim testified during the trial that after Ritter and Samir entered the kitchen, he heard a single gunshot. The surviving victim was then ordered at gunpoint to the kitchen and placed face down on the ground next to Samir’s body. Ritter and his unknown accomplices rummaged through the apartment. During this time, Samir’ friend, Elzie Mack, arrived at the apartment. Elzie was also ordered to the ground in the kitchen near Samir’s lifeless body. The surviving victim testified at trial that he heard a man’s voice saying, “I’m getting down, I’m getting down” and then a second gunshot. He saw Ritter with the gun in his hand, pointing the gun at him, and pulling the trigger. The gun clicked but didn’t fire. The surviving victim grabbed Ritter and was able to escape from the apartment. During the struggle, the surviving victim was shot as well.

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