Lancaster man pleads guilty to killing former high school football star

Lancaster man pleads guilty to killing former high school football star

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — A Lancaster man will spend the next 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday morning to killing a former high school football star.

Jackel Clinton got into a fistfight with De'Mon Davis on Sanders Street in Fort Mill last September.

When he lost the fight, police said, he shot Davis in the back of the head ​as dozens of people watched.

Content Continues Below
<p><span style="font-size:10.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Microsoft Sans Serif&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black"><span class="wsc-spelling-problem" data-spelling-word="Jackel" data-wsc-lang="en_US">Jackel</span> Clinton</span></span></span></p>

Jackel Clinton

(Clinton in court Monday)

Channel 9's South Carolina bureau reporter Greg Suskin was in the courtroom and learned Davis wasn't even supposed to fight that day.

Another man planned to fight Clinton, but instead paid Davis to fight in his place.

Davis was a former football standout at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill.

"If we can just do something to get this violence to stop. Young black men killing each other. It's got to stop," Davis' mother said.

She plans to start a scholarship at South Pointe High in her son's name.

"So other kids coming in would know who he was, and what kind of person he was, and what he did for the school," she said.

Charlotte activist John C. Barnett was in court to support both families.

"There are two lives lost here. One physically, and one that's gonna be physically put inside a prison. All because of a few pennies," Barnett said.

Barnett believes the 20-year sentence is too long because of the circumstances but Davis' mother doesn't agree.

"He can get out and live a successful life, but you know I'll still be grieving," she said.

Clinton was charged with murder but pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He faced the possibility of spending 50 years in prison.

Suskin also learned Clinton saw his own mother shot and killed when he was a teenager.

After his sentencing, he asked if he could hug his 11-year-old sister before going to prison, but the judge didn't allow it because he was in custody.