A South Carolina man who attacked his girlfriend with an ax at a York County convenience store has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Tyquez Terry Myers, 22, pleaded guilty late Thursday in York County Criminal Court to aggravated domestic violence. Myers hacked his girlfriend repeatedly with an ax at the QT store on Carowinds Avenue north of Fort Mill and near North Carolina State in July 2021, according to court testimony.
Only the efforts of an off-duty nurse at the store saved the woman from death in the attack that left her cut and bloody, 16th Circuit Senior Solicitor Matthew Hogg told the court.
“(Myers) tried to cut a woman to death in public,” Hogge told the court.
The attack was caught on store video surveillance, Hogg told the court. Although the video was not played in court and released as evidence, Hogge told Judge Eugene Griffith that Myers repeatedly cut the victim on the back, arms and other areas of the body. The victim spent a week in the hospital and has multiple scars from surgery and other care, Hogge said.
After the hit, Myers grabbed a toddler Myers and the victim shared and fled to Charlotte, Hogge said. Myers wasn’t caught for a week — in early August 2021. Myers has been in jail without bond since then.
The child was not injured, testimony showed.
Hogg dismissed the attempted murder charge in the case as part of plea negotiations, but prosecutors asked Myers to plead to the highest level of domestic violence under South Carolina law. A conviction on the domestic violence charge carries up to 20 years in prison.
Hogg said the seriousness of the crime points to a defendant who deserves at least 15 years in prison, if not the full 20.
“Clearly, he deserves a severe sentence,” Hogg told the court. “If it hadn’t been for that woman (the nurse who helped), the victim would have been dead.”
Defendant’s attorney: Hatchett was in self-defense
Myers and the victim have a child together, testimony showed. Myers was a food delivery driver for Door Dash at the time of the attack, and the couple was living in a Fort Mill-area motel at the time, said York County Assistant Public Defender Chris Bonds, who was Myers’ attorney. Myers had money and other problems that led to the attack, Bonds said.
Bonds claimed Myers had the ax for self-defense after he had previously been targeted by criminals while delivering food. However, Bonds told the court there was no reason for the vicious attack on the mother of Myers’ child.
“There is no justification for this,” Bonds told the court. “(Myers) acknowledges his horror.”
Bonds asked for a short prison sentence combined with probation.
Defendant: Things got out of hand
Myers told Judge Griffiths in court that he was guilty of assaulting the mother of his child with purses.
“Things got out of hand,” Myers told the court.
Myers’ mother told the court Myers was a good man who made the wrong decision.
The victim told the court she didn’t want Myers to get a long prison sentence because her child needs a father. The Herald is not naming the domestic violence victim.
Judge Griffiths, who viewed the video and photographs of the injuries, said he was concerned for the victim’s safety before sentencing Myers to 14 years in prison.
“If it wasn’t for someone (the nurse on the scene) looking after her, she would have been dead,” Griffith said.
Myers must serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole, South Carolina law states.