Sheriff: $2,500 reward offered for information on Holly Hill slayings

Published: Aug. 7, 2015 at 2:23 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2015 at 9:28 AM EDT
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Christopher Wright (Source: Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center)
Christopher Wright (Source: Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center)

HOLLY HILL, SC (WIS) - Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said the lifestyle of one person already in custody on drug charges is the reason why four people are dead following a July 15 incident in Holly Hill.

While saying the man in custody wasn't the suspect in the murders of the four people, Ravenell said Christopher Wright, 36, the father of two children found dead at the scene, is at fault.

"This case is directly connected to his style of living," Ravenell said.

Ravenell said he was 100 percent certain the shootings were not a random act of violence because Wright's alleged drug dealings "knowingly put his children in danger."

The sheriff also said Wright has been uncooperative with the investigation.

According to the sheriff's office, more charges have been filed against Wright, including three counts of unlawful neglect of a child.

Mobile users, tap here to view photos from the scene.

Wright has already been charged on two outstanding State Law Enforcement Division warrants for trafficking methamphetamine.

Meanwhile, investigators have not come out and said they have located a suspect in this case. They have, however, named a "person of interest" in the case --  Michael Deroaknel Smith Jr., 26.

According to the solicitor's office in Orangeburg, officials merely want to talk to Smith about the murders and have not identified him as a main suspect.

Four people, Jerome Butler, 50; Krystal Hutto, 28; Shamekia Sanders, 17; and Tamara Perry, 14; were killed in the July incident. A fifth victim, an 8-year-old, was also shot, but remains under treatment.

A judge on Friday deferred Wright's case to a circuit court judge due to the nature of the charges.

A special hotline has been set up for tips in the Holly Hill case. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-888-825-7172. A reward of $2,500 has been set up for anyone who has information leading to an arrest and a conviction.

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