Eskew agrees to plea deal; gets 30 years in prison

A 23-year old man who strangled his lover and and set fire to her body will spend the next three decades years in prison.

Circuit Court Judge Liticia Verdin sentenced Darren Eskew to 31 years in prison after he agreed to a plea deal with solicitors.

Eskew, a diagnosed schizophrenic, admitted to strangling Laurie Patton, 39, after flying into a rage while they were staying at the Quality Inn in Greenville in March of 2014.  Investigators say Patton, a 39-year old married teacher and mother of two, was involved with Eskew for several months.

“I know she was completely blindsided by the heinous act of that day that resulted in her permanently leaving her children,” said Mandy Evans, Patton’s sister, in prepared remarks read before the court.

Attorneys for Eskew submitted medical documents to the court detailing his history of mental illness. Investigators say Eskew admitted he knew what he was doing when he killed Patton.

Eskew, who has been in custody since his arrest says he has received treatment for his schizophrenia. That treatment will likely continue as he serves out his sentence.

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