Georgia man sentenced in 2019 murder at N. Charleston Walmart after guilty plea

Prosecutors say a man pleaded guilty to a murder charge in a 2019 armed robbery attempt as his trial was set to begin.
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 5:03 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 5:40 PM EST
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A judge sentenced a man who entered a guilty plea in a 2019 North Charleston armed robbery attempt that ended in a deadly shooting.

Ke’Various Sparks pleaded guilty to murder Monday morning as his trial was set to begin, according to First Assistant Solicitor Kelly LaPlante.

Judge Brooks Goldsmith sentenced Sparks to 45 years in connection with the killing of 27-year-old Kevin Holmes of North Charleston.

Prosecutors say Sparks, who is from Brunswick, Georgia, was 22 in September of 2019, when he shot Holmes in the head at the Dorchester Road Walmart during an armed robbery attempt. Sparks then drove off from the scene but witnesses identified his vehicle as a gold Crown Victoria with Georgia license plates, LaPlante said.

Holmes died from his injuries several days later, LaPlante said.

“Mr. Holmes was a father of seven children. He was a loving son and brother. His children and family lost him forever over what we estimate to be just $200,” Assistant Solicitor Mike Spears said. “While this sentence will never bring Mr. Holmes back, we hope that the family can take solace that justice was finally brought today.”

Investigators identified Sparks as a person of interest in the killing and confirmed he had been in contact with Holmes prior to the incident. When officers executed a search warrant at a North Charleston rental home where Sparks was staying while working at a construction job in the area, they say they found burnt clothing in a grill.

“The burnt hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans were the same clothing he was identified as wearing on the day of the murder. Based on this evidence, law enforcement interviewed Sparks leading to his confession to the murder,” LaPlante said. “Additionally, Sparks admitted to throwing the murder weapon in a nearby pond.”

While out on bond in Dorchester County, Sparks was arrested in Georgia for two counts of armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, LaPlante said. Sparks was being held in Georgia on the new charges and was transported back to South Carolina to stand trial.