Details emerge in Papa John's murder after suspects' arrests
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Investigators say forensic evidence has linked five men to the murder of a Papa Johns pizza manager. Richland County deputies released details of the arrests Thursday, and this isn't the suspects' first run-in with the law.
Mugshot Gallery: Papa John's Murder
It was a shocking story that rocked a community. Steven Fowler, a Papa John's Pizza manager, was shot and killed after closing for the night nearly two weeks ago.
David Wesley Watson, Edward Antonio Walker, Darnell Donte Crocker, Carwin Tyron Pettis and Timothy Ricardo Fisher are charged with the crime. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says Darnell Crocker had inside information.
"Crocker had worked there, knew Mr. Fowler's routine," said Lott. "Knew where the money was at. Knew how everything was. So he set him up. He set him up to be killed."
Investigators say it was David Watson who fired five shots, killing the store manager. The other men only had BB guns.
But this crime is just one of several the men are accused of committing. "One of the keys that helped us solve this crime was some prints that we had recovered from an armed robbery the day before at Days Inn," said Lott.
During a demonstration on Thursday, Richland Country deputies showed how fingerprints are collected. The prints are taken to the in-house forensics lab, where they are processed and matched with evidence from other crimes.
Sheriff Lott says prints linked these men to other armed robberies, at least one copper theft and the Papa John's murder. "They're just hoodlums who knew each other, who had a common interest and that was to go out here and rob and steal," said Lott.
Lott says there are others who helped the group get away with the crimes, so there could be more arrests.