Death penalty sought in Kershaw Co. woman's rape, murder - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Death penalty sought in Kershaw Co. woman's rape, murder

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Hope Melton Hope Melton
Nickolas Jermaine Miller Nickolas Jermaine Miller

Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson revealed on Monday his plans to seek the death penalty of a man arrested and charged in the death of a Kershaw County woman back in December 2011.

Officials say 30-year-old Beverly Hope Melton was found in a secluded area of Kershaw County after 23-year-old Nickolas Jermaine Miller lead Chesterfield County deputies to her body.

Miller was charged in Melton's death in Kershaw County and was also charged with kidnapping and criminal sexual assault in Chesterfield County.

Investigators say Miller ran Melton off the road, kidnapped her, raped her, and beat her to death with a baseball bat. 

Investigators used surveillance video from a nearby convenience store to identify Miller.

Shortly after Miller's murder and Miller's arrest, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said no punishment man could hand out would be justice enough for Melton.

"I think the death penalty is almost too good for him," said Matthews. "I was out at the scene. I saw what he had done. If there ever was a death penalty case, this is one."

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