Kentucky man formally charged in grandparents' deaths - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Kentucky man formally charged in grandparents' deaths

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Joseph Manners (Source: Sumter County Sheriff's Office) Joseph Manners (Source: Sumter County Sheriff's Office)
SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

At a hearing Monday afternoon, a Kentucky man waived extradition and was formally charged with arson and killing his grandmother and her husband.

Investigators say a prior substance abuse problem led 20-year-old Joseph Manners to kill 79-year-old Joann Topper and 68-year-old James William Topper

The pair were found dead amongst the ashes of their burned down home on Barnwell Drive.

Investigators say James died of blunt force trauma to the head and Joann died of smoke inhalation from the fire.

Manners had been living with James and Joann for the past several months, according to Sheriff Anthony Dennis. Deputies were called to the home previously to investigate a report of domestic violence, but the grandmother did not press charges in the incident.

A witness told investigators that as the house burned, a small, white car left the driveway of the home and sped away north on Barnwell Drive.

Manners and the car were eventually located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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