Suspect arrested following homicide, meth lab, indoor grow inside mobile home

Debra Lee Tyler
Debra Lee Tyler
David Lynn Tyler
David Lynn Tyler
Greg Vincent Smith
Greg Vincent Smith

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Kershaw County Sheriff's Office said it's investigating a homicide, meth lab, and an indoor grow at a Lugoff mobile home Saturday afternoon.

Sheriff Jim Matthews said his office received a call from someone who heard a domestic dispute and then a gunshot in the 1,900 block of Highway 601. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found a woman who had been shot and killed. The coroner identified that woman as 59-year-old Debra Lee Tyler. He said she died after receiving a gunshot wound to the head.

Deputies did take two people into custody. Sheriff Matthews said one of the suspects, 56-year-old David Lynn Tyler, died after he was taken into custody at the detention center. He said Tyler had gone into cardiac arrest. The coroner said the cause of death will be determined pending a toxicology report. He said David was Debra's husband.

The second suspect, 49-year-old Greg Vincent Smith, was also taken into custody. "At the present time we believe he is the shooter," said Sheriff Matthews.

Investigators have not be able to look into the homicide or ID the victim because while at the scene, deputies also found a meth lab and an indoor grow. "The deputies that went in there weren't aware of the lab initially, but they were breathing the chemicals, and we ended up sending them to the Kershaw Health Hospital to get treated," said Sheriff Matthews.

The sheriff said the meth was still in beakers and described the indoor grow as extensive. He said both operations had been going on for "some" time and described the environment inside the mobile home as "toxic and volatile."

"Another case of drugs," said Sheriff Matthews, "It's apparent from looking at these people that they're probably regular methamphetamine users."

Sheriff Matthews said nine deputies were treated at the hospital for inhalation of toxic fumes. They were suffering from headaches, nausea, and being sick to their stomachs. "So we have a bit of a nasty day," he said.

The sheriff's office did call for SLED to help comb over the scene. Before the sheriff can get answers, the scene has to be made safe. DHEC has lined up a HAZMAT cleanup contractor. "They won't be taking everything, but they'll be taking the worst of the materials that they happen find inside the structure," said DHEC spokesman Thom Berry.

It's day two in a murder/meth lab investigation, and the Kershaw County Sheriff said there are charges.

Deputies worked a very complicated murder scene yesterday where they also found a meth lab and pot farm.

A man was charged with murder Sunday, the indoor marijuana farm was confiscated, and the meth lab was cleaned up.

What a difference a day and hard police work make. The home of David and Debra Tyler is now empty of life. "You hear about it all the time," said neighbor Frank Stack, "You see it on the news, but right close to you like this, that's a little bit too close for comfort."

Stack's family lives up against the Tyler property. He said he didn't have a clue. "I didn't know them personally," said Stack, "Like I said, I did see the lady before looking for her dog, her lost dog one time."

According to deputies, the lady was Debra Tyler. She died after a single gunshot wound to the head Saturday. The weapon was a .357 magnum revolver. "Basically, Mr. Smith confessed to the shooting," said Sheriff Jim Matthews.

Gregg Smith then led deputies to the gun hidden in the woods. SLED has the lead on that murder and is reviewing another death, Debra's husband - David Tyler. David had been arrested and taken to the Kershaw Detention Center. Deputies said he went into cardiac arrest and died.

Sheriff Matthews said the trio's drug lifestyle played a role in the deaths, both mentally and physically. "So a combination of these drugs certainly didn't help their mental state as they lived their lives of drug dealing, arguing and carrying on and so forth," he said.

A HAZMAT cleanup team carried away the chemicals used to make methanamphetomine Saturday night. The cost could have topped $5o,000 to $100,000 dollars for local taxpayers. "DHEC is going to foot the bill on this, much to the relief of the Kershaw County taxpayers," said Sheriff Matthews, "So, I'm very grateful for that."

Stack just wants to get back to normal. "We enjoy living out here," he said, "It's peaceful. You never think something like that could be close to you and your yard."

Smith will go before the judge for a bond hearing sometime next week. He will be charged with homicide, manufacturing meth, and cultivation of marijuana.

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