Man Gets Life in Prison for Olive Garden Killing

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A judge has sentenced a man to life in prison for shooting and killing another man at a Columbia restaurant two years ago.

Judge Thomas Russo handed down the sentence against 22-year-old Gonzales Wardlaw.

On December 29, 2011, Wardlaw shot and killed 21-year-old Thomas Hoefer at the Olive Garden restaurant on Harbison Boulevard. Hoefer was at the business for a birthday party for his fiance's mother.

During testimony, jurors heard that Wardlaw had met Hoefer at the restaurant to buy marijuana. When Wardlaw was unhappy with the type of marijuana he received, he pulled out a gun and shot Hoefer.

Columbia police also found out that after the shooting, Wardlaw wrote rap lyrics about the crime, bragging about the details.

A jury took just 50 minutes to convict him.


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