Sheriff: Suspect used male escort ad to rob murdered Whitmire man

Published: Apr. 14, 2016 at 5:49 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2016 at 6:16 PM EDT
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NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Newberry County Sheriff reports that a 22-year-old Aiken man has been arrested and charged for the kidnapping, robbery, and murder of Jesse Sanders.

Sheriff Lee Foster announced the Wednesday night arrest of Michael S. Spears, 22, of Aiken, who was formally charged in Newberry County on Thursday.

RELATED: See photos from the scene of the crime.

Sheriff Foster said Spears was charged with murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

According to the sheriff's office, Sanders contacted Spears through a male escort page on Backpage.com, a website well-known for being involved in prostitution cases in the Midlands.

Foster said investigators believe robbery to be the motive in this case.

"Mr. Sanders was the victim of a senseless violent crime," Foster said. "This simply did not have to happen."

Spears is also wanted by other law enforcement agencies for unrelated charges, however, since he is facing a murder charge, bond will be set by a Circuit Court Judge, on a date to be determined.

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