COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A few weeks before he was charged with murdering a woman whose home had been set on fire, Kenneth Gleaton was accused of shoving her and holding a gun to her chest.
Investigators arrested the 38-year-old Gleaton Tuesday afternoon near Columbia's EdVenture Children's Museum. He is being held in the death of 39-year-old Amanda Peele after firefighters found her body in the smoldering wreckage of her house on Crestmore Drive.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department says Peele had been strangled and shot. Neighbors say Gleaton and the victim were not married, but he was often seen in and around the home.
Peele was the mother of two children, ages 9 and 13. A law enforcement source tells WIS News 10 the children were removed from the home in mid-September by the Department of Social Services and placed in the custody of a biological parent.
That happened after the agency received a report that Gleaton had assaulted Peele and threatened her with a gun. Gleaton's criminal record includes convictions for arson and criminal domestic violence dating back to the 1990's.
Young people in the neighborhood say the man they knew as "Kenny" would sometimes warn them against criminal wrongdoing.
"He was like, don't go in no stores, don't steal, don't go around doing no violent stuff. Don't kill nobody," says 17-year-old Kenneth Harris.
Harris says Gleaton admitted he'd served time in prison. The suspect is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.