GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. — A man who admitted to killing two women and raping an 83-year-old woman in front of her 7-year-old granddaughter is no longer facing execution.
Fredrick Antonio Evins was on death row, but WYFF reports that a judge quietly overturned his death penalty conviction some time in the past several weeks.
Evins was convicted and sentenced to death in Spartanburg in 2004 for the murder and rape of Rhonda Ward. He was also charged in the death of Damaris Huff.
Evins successfully appealed to have the sentencing portion of his case overturned “due to ineffective council.”
He has remained in custody on charges for which he was never tried, one being the rape of an 83-year-old woman in Greenville County in 1991.
The woman has since died, but her daughter made it her life’s mission to find her mother’s attacker. She credits TV shows about forensics for the idea to ask a detective to have her mother’s clothes retested.
Eventually, the DNA matched Evins.
Because of the murder charge and conviction, Evins never faced trial for the 1991 rape.
Evins pleaded guilty to the rape on Thursday.
The defense argued that Evins could not be sentenced to death due to intellectual disability. Because the prosecution could not disprove that, a plea deal was arranged for three consecutive life sentences.