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Man accused of killing girlfriend month after bailing her out for stabbing him

A 53-year-old man surrended to deputies for the murder of his girlfriend and the attempted murder of two others hours earlier in Richland County.
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A Columbia man who reportedly helped his girlfriend get out of jail on bond for stabbing him is now accused of killing her during a shooting Wednesday in Richland County. The man was also accused of shooting a man and attempting to shoot another woman inside the home.

John Corbett, 53, surrendered to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Thursday, deputies said. He now faces charges of murder and two counts of attempted murder after he allegedly opened fire shortly after 8 p.m. inside a home at 34 Burdock Circle off Shop Road.

Akawandalis A. Byrd, 28, was transported to Palmetto Health Richland where she was pronounced dead at 8:37 p.m., according t the Richland County Coroner Gary Watts. Byrd died of a gunshot wound to the chest, Watts said.

Corbett allegedly confronted his girlfriend as well as his roommate inside the Burdock Circle home, Sheriff Leon Lott said, according to The State newspaper. Corbett allegedly threatened to kill everyone in the house, including another woman who was there, and then opened fire, Lott said.

Corbett allegedly shot his girlfriend and then shot his roommate in the upper body, Lott said. He then fired at the third victim, but missed, the sheriff said. He was gone by the time deputies arrived. The male victim, whose name has not been released, was transported to a local hospital in serious condition, Lott told the paper.

According to a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division background check, Corbett has been arrested for multiple charges including drug violations, assault charges and four previous criminal domestic violence charges, The State reported.
Byrd was arrested for stabbing Corbett during a domestic violence dispute about one month ago, Lott told the paper. After Corbett posted her bond to get out of jail, they continued their relationship.

“We have a cycle in our community and in South Carolina that we have just not been able to break,” Lott said. “South Carolina leads the nation in deaths of women in domestic violence related cases and this is a classic example of that.”

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