After facing a murder charge for three years, 34-year-old George Jacob Shine was found not guilty by reason of self-defense in general sessions court at the Sumter County Judicial Center Monday.
Shine, a Florence native, was on trial for the fatal shooting death of Joseph Frey, 70, who was reportedly shot twice during an argument at a residence off Narrow Paved Road on Nov. 17, 2015.
While responding to an emergency call, a deputy from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office spoke to Shine and his brother, Travis Jones, who said Shine had been shot in the chest by Frey.
Shine also said he shot Frey twice with a rifle after the firearm was first used by Frey to shoot him, according to an incident report.
After entering the residence, the deputy found Shine lying on the floor with two firearms - a .22-caliber rifle with a scope and a silver semi-automatic handgun without a magazine - by his side.
Frey, who appeared to be deceased, was also found lying on the floor.
He was flown to McLeod Health in Florence for "a gunshot wound to the right side just below his nipple and back towards the armpit area."
The sheriff’s office later reported that Frey died at the scene.
Shine was charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Judge Kristi Curtis found Shine not guilty during a bench trial meaning a judge, instead of a jury, gave the verdict.
Assistant solicitor John Meadors thanked their sheriff’s office for its “excellent job in the investigation.”
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