Originally created 12/10/97

Teen-ager receives 30-year prison term



AIKEN -- An Aiken teen-ager received 30 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to the 1996 stabbing death of an Aiken man.

Eric Spann, 18, pleaded guilty to the murder charge in Aiken County General Sessions Court. A charge of possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime was dismissed.

Mr. Spann was arrested on Sept. 21, 1996, and charged with killing John Edward Williams, 38, of Vincent Avenue in Aiken. The stabbing took place in an apartment in the 300 block of Sumter Street, where the two men were visiting different people.

Police said the two men got into an argument. Mr. Spann left and returned later, before the stabbing took place.

Mr. Spann also pleaded guilty Monday to an unrelated charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He received a 10-year prison sentence to run concurrently with the other sentence.

Mr. Spann was arrested June 12 in connection with this assault.

"Both (incidents) involved stabbing the victim in the chest with some type of sharp object," Deputy Solicitor Lawrence Brown said.

Because he was convicted of violent crimes, Mr. Spann must serve 85 percent of his sentence, about 25 years, before becoming eligible for parole.