Gonzales "Snoop" Wardlaw, 22, met 21-year-old Thomas Hoefer at the Harbison Olive Garden to purchase marijuana from him while Hoefer was at the restaurant for a birthday party.
While the two men were in the parking lot, Wardlaw, apparently unhappy with the pot, shot Hoefer in the chest with a .22-caliber handgun. Wardlaw fled and Hoefer died on the way to the hospital.
The Columbia Police Department found rap lyrics at Wardlaw’s home that included references like “hit ‘em in his chest” and “caught ‘em at da Olive Garden.” After Wardlaw admitted that the lyrics were his, it took the Lexington jury about 50 minutes to find him guilty.
Prior to sentencing, Wardlaw admitted to breaking the law but contended that he acted in self defense and asked for mercy. Hoefer’s family requested that the aspiring rapper receive the maximum penalty and Wardlaw was sentenced to life in prison.