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A Ridgeland SC inmate known as ‘Animal’ convicted of killing fellow inmate in 2017

A former inmate known as “Animal” who was incarcerated at the Ridgeland Correctional Institute has been found guilty of murdering a fellow inmate in 2017.

Benjamin Walter “Animal” Dubois III, 39, was found guilty Friday in Jasper County General Sessions Court for the stabbing to death of Jerry Douglas Holmes.

On June 22, 2017, Holmes was found unconscious in his cell, covered in blood. An autopsy found that he had been stabbed in the neck with a home-made weapon and had more than 80 other injuries as well. Investigators recovered several guns doused with bleach from a garbage can near Holmes’ cell.

According to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Dubois was seen wearing a homemade ice pick in his waistband and entering Holmes’ cell just before inmates reported hearing screams. Dubois was then seen covered in blood walking to the cellblock shower.

He has been sentenced to life without parole under South Carolina’s three strikes law, which mandates this sentence for defendants convicted of two “most serious” crimes or a combination of three “serious” or “most serious” crimes . Both murder and voluntary manslaughter are considered “most serious” crimes.

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“This murder was brutal and premeditated,” said Reed Evans of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which was prosecuting the case. “Mr. Dubois is clearly not cut out for the outside world, and fortunately he will spend the rest of his years in prison.”

At the time of Holmes’ murder, Dubois was serving 10 years as of 2012 for voluntary manslaughter and second-degree assault and battery charges in a Berkeley County misdemeanor.

Dubois’ criminal history also includes convictions for grand larceny, check fraud, and motor vehicle burglary. He received at least 16 disciplinary penalties while in the SC Department of Corrections, for offenses ranging from possession of contraband to threatening and beating prison staff, the release said.

During the trial, Evans called 11 witnesses during the four days of testimony at the Jasper County County Courthouse, according to a release from the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Among them were a pathologist, a DNA expert and Dubois’ fellow prisoners.

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