Man sentenced to life for killing Lancaster woman in 2019

Derrick McIlwain will not have a chance at parole for the killing of Kimberly Alger.

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — Derrick Allen McIlwain will spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2019 murder of his girlfriend in Lancaster County, South Carolina.

After several days at trial this week, 6th Circuit Solicitor Randy Newman confirmed to WCNC Charlotte McIlwain was found guilty of killing Kimberly Alger. Parole for McIlwain was not offered.

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In May 2019, the 36-year-old Alger was found dead near her home’s back deck. Her death was deemed suspicious, and an autopsy was ordered. Days after she was found, the then 41-year-old McIlwain was named as a suspect and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office noted he was wanted for an act of domestic violence against Alger.

PREVIOUSLY: Man wanted for murder of woman found dead outside Lancaster County home

Alger’s murder wasn’t the only killing McIlwain was tied to; in November 2019, McIlwain was finally taken into custody in Rock Hill, South Carolina. By that time, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina had said he was wanted for killing a man at a Ballantyne home earlier that month.

PREVIOUSLY: Man wanted for murder in Ballantyne, Lancaster arrested

During their searches for him, law enforcement had warned McIlwain knew how to use guns and was to be treated as a dangerous person. He was able to avoid capture for about six months.

Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.  

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.

Because of the public interest in McIlwain’s case when it first unfolded, his mugshot is shown. 

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