(Anderson, SC). Roger Rowland became the last defendant to plead guilty in the death of Chunsey Cunningham in October of 2013. The Honorable Lawton McIntosh sentenced Rowland to 25 years suspended to 15 years with 5 years probation to follow. Two others involved in the crime pled guilty earlier and have been sentenced to the following: Shawn Johnson was sentenced to 7 years suspended to 3 years in prison with 5 years probation and Michaela Christensen was sentenced to 15 years suspended to 10 years in prison with 5 years probation to follow. The fourth defendant, Christian Lopez, pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
In the early morning hours of October 20, 2013, Roger Rowland claimed that he planned to meet a man at Skateland in Anderson to buy drugs. Others involved gave conflicting statements regarding the reason for the meeting. Rowland, Shawn Johnson, and Christian Lopez went to Skateland, got out of the car driven by Michaela Christensen and walked to meet the man who was sitting in a car driven by Chunsey Cunningham. Rowland, by his own admission, and another both shot at the car. Mr. Cunningham, who had just stepped out of the car and was not the intended target, was shot in the head. He died at the scene. Everyone fled the scene. None of the guns involved in the shooting were ever recovered, thereby preventing any forensic confirmation of the shooter’s identity.
“Rowland’s conviction and sentencing closes a chapter in a terrible chain of events that led to the unnecessary loss of the life of Chunsey Cunningham,” stated Solicitor Chrissy Adams. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”