CONWAY, S.C. (AP) – After the murder conviction and sentencing of Stephen O’Hara, the senior assistant solicitor for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office expressed her reaction to the outcome. O’Hara was found guilty of murder, presenting a firearm, and possessing a firearm, and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
According to a news release from the solicitor’s office, Mary-Ellen Walter, who has 30 years of prosecution experience, described O’Hara’s actions as one of the most senseless murders she had ever seen. She expressed gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the police departments involved in the case, as well as civilian witnesses and other individuals, hoping that the outcome would bring some measure of comfort to the victims and their families, allowing them to begin the healing process.
O’Hara shot and killed 30-year-old Paul Mishoe at a bar in Conway in November 2020, testifying during the trial that he did not know Mishoe before the shooting. He recounted their initial interaction at the bar, where Mishoe made a remark about O’Hara’s wife outside a restroom, which led to an exchange about the inappropriateness of the remark.
During his testimony, O’Hara detailed the events leading up to the shooting, stating that Mishoe had pushed him to the ground and later hit him in the back of the head. He claimed that he shot behind him out of fear for his safety, as he believed Mishoe was about to hit him again.
The tragic events of that night have left a lasting impact, affecting all those involved, and the sentencing of Stephen O’Hara serves as a reminder of the devastating consequences of senseless violence. It is a moment that brings no joy, but offers an opportunity for healing and closure to begin for the victims and their families.