Lexington County man going to prison on DUI charge from deadly crash, official says

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A Lexington County man was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony DUI (involving death) charge, the 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said.

Sheldon Eugene Dubois, 29, will have no chance of parole because he pleaded guilty to a crime classified as a violent and serious, the solicitor’s office said in a news release.

On March 11, 2021, Lexington County sheriff’s deputies attempted to make a traffic stop on a stolen Honda CRV on South Lake Drive near Edmund Highway, the solicitor’s office said.

Dubois didn’t stop and a chase began, according to the release.

Deputies ended their pursuit near the intersection of South Lake Drive and Bethany Church Road as Dubois continued speeding away and eventually disregarded a stop sign at the intersection of Bethany Church Road and Boiling Springs Road, the solicitor’s office said.

Dubois collided with a Ford F-150 that overturned, and the pickup truck driver was injured, according to the release. Maps show the crash happened about 1.5 miles from where the pursuit began.

Phillip Auston Jones, a 26-year-old who was a passenger in Dubois’ vehicle, suffered injuries in the collision and died the next day at a Prisma Health hospital in Richland County, the solicitor’s office said.

Jones was survived by a son, parents and brothers, among other family members, according to his obituary.

Dubois was originally charged with reckless vehicular homicide, but his blood was tested and the sample showed quantities of methamphetamine and THC, according to the release. His charge was upgraded to a more serious offense, the solicitor’s office said.

Had Dubois not pleaded guilty, if convicted at trial he faced a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, according to South Carolina law.

During the plea hearing, the wife of the Ford F-150 driver addressed the court and detailed the extent of her husband’s injuries, according to the release. Information on his condition was not available.

The solicitor’s office said that Dubois has a prior criminal history that includes arrests on possession of drugs, reckless vehicular homicide and hit and run involving death, traffic, and property crime charges.

During his plea hearing, Dubois also pleaded guilty to an unrelated third-degree assault and battery by mob charge, according to the release.

Judge Debra McCaslin presided over this case, which was investigated by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Senior Assistant Solicitor Todd Wagoner handled the prosecution of the case, and Dubois’ attorney’s were Columbia’s Bradley Myers Kirkland, Lexington’s Ola Johnson and Stephen Story, Jr. of the public defender’s office, Lexington County court records show.