KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) – Kershaw County deputies arrested a fifth person Wednesday morning in connection with a deadly home invasion and kidnapping Monday night.
Sheriff Jim Matthews said 26-year-old Randy Lewis has been charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Lewis' arrest comes a day after four others were taken into custody.
On Tuesday, Kershaw County deputies, SLED agents and Camden police arrested Frank Terrance Singleton III, 23, Curtis Quandal Drakeford, 20, and Jerome Ricky Lewis, 34, all of Camden. Deputies later arrested a fourth suspect, Arthur Macklin III.
The men are believed to have shot and killed 39-year-old Michael Hayes in his Sandspur Road home late Monday night, and kidnapped his common-law wife and their 5-day-old-baby. They're also suspected in a recent string of home invasions and armed robberies across the county.
Matthews said Singleton will be charged with murder, armed robbery, burglary, two counts of kidnapping, and weapons charges. Drakeford will be charged with murder, accessory after the fact and armed robbery. Macklin III has been charged with murder, kidnapping (2 counts), armed robbery, burglary 1st and conspiracy.
Jerome Lewis has been charged with murder, armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping, and burglary. Matthews said other charges in connection with the three other home invasions and armed robberies that occurred last week are likely.
"We had a pretty good idea who some of these people were," said Matthews. "There was probably 30 officers out in the county looking for these guys, and were able to track them down and catch them."
Investigators believe the deadly home invasion was not random. "We have a reasonable degree of information that this incident was the result of drugs," said Matthews, who added that a large amount if marijuana and cocaine was found in the victim's house.
"I feel comfortable after talking to the sheriff," said Police chief Joe Floyd. "People should be a little less anxious at the end of the day today."
Investigators say three armed men dressed in black kicked in the door to Hayes' home near the city of Camden just before 11:30 p.m. Monday in the Knight's Hill community.
According to Hayes' common-law wife, who was in the house at the time, the men ordered her and Hayes to the floor and demanded money. The armed men demanded Hayes open his safe, according to the woman.
Investigators say when Hayes was unable to open his safe, the three shot him multiple times. After shooting Hayes, they then turned the gun on the woman and demanded that she open the safe.
When the woman could not open the safe, she asked the robbers to take the safe, according to investigators. They took the safe and the woman along with her infant and forced her into her car.
The three men then demanded the woman drive them to another location, where they had a car waiting.
The men left in a getaway car, leaving the child and the woman in the other car unharmed. Investigators have not disclosed that location but said the woman was able to go to a nearby house to call 911.
Sheriff Matthews says that while there are similarities between this home invasion and the three others that have plagued his county it is too early to say if the same suspects are responsible for all of them.
"Kershaw County deputies and SLED agents are currently searching the county for a person of interest in the earlier home invasion." Matthews says.
Investigators are also trying to determine if they are responsible for an armed robbery at a Food Lion in Camden Monday morning.
Matthews said a .38 caliber gun was used in the first three robberies. A .40 caliber gun was used in Monday night's fatal home invasion, according to the sheriff. "We've got our eye on one man we think is responsible for first three invasions," said Matthews. "We want to talk with him for more information."
Deputies closed off the entrance to Sandspur Lane overnight while investigators processed the scene.
The robberies caused some people who say they've never owned guns to go shopping. "We was looking at buying a gun because people acting crazy around here," said Amanda Mitchell.
A bond hearing for all of the suspects is scheduled for Thursday. Matthews said that the kidnapping charge is a "non-bondable" offense and it is likely that these men will remain in jail until trial.