SC man sentenced for killing person in dispute over driving on dirt road

·1 min read

A jury found an Eastover man guilty of murder Friday, more than five years after he was charged in a shooting during an argument about driving on a dirt road.

Following a five day trial that started Monday, Mark Robert Volstromer, 53, was sentenced to 35 years in prison by Judge DeAndrea Benjamin. April Sampson of the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the case.

Prosecutors said Volstromer shot 62-year-old Keith L. Pruitt, Jr. in the upper body on Dec. 27, 2015.

Richland County authorities learned that Volstromer had been growing more and more frustrated with people driving on a dirt road that touched his property. Vehicles would throw mud and debris in his yard when it rained and people would drive noisy four-wheelers and dirt bikes on the road.

On the day Volstromer shot Pruitt, Volstromer’s wife took pictures of a truck driving on the road. Pruitt was a passenger, investigators said. The driver and Pruitt stopped to ask her why she was taking pictures of them. Volstromer came out of his house, argued with Pruitt and then shot him. According to police reports, Pruitt didn’t have a gun and didn’t seem to be threatening before Volstromer fired. Pruitt died later that day.

Video cameras on Volstromer’s property captured audio and video of the shooting, which was used as evidence at the trial. The jury deliberated for about an hour and a half.

In 2019, Volstromer argued in court that he shouldn’t be prosecuted because of a Stand Your Ground law but he was denied immunity, court records showed.

Attorney Aimee Zmroczek defended Volstromer, according to court records.

Volstrumer will be able to appeal his case.

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