Two people have been charged in connection with the shooting death of a 60-year-old convenience store owner. The 23-year-old man and 19-year-old man were taken into custody on Oct. 6 by investigators from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. SLED was called in to assist with the investigation by the Blackville Police Department. The men have been charged with homicide and armed robbery and are being detained at the Barnwell County Detention Center.
Robbery gone wrong
Police say that the two men entered a Blackville convenience store at approximately 6:45 a.m. on Sept. 8 and demanded money. Blackville is a small town near Orangeburg in Barnwell County. The 23-year-old man is said to have shot the store owner while the 19-year-old man searched for cash. According to reports, the victim succumbed to his wounds due to blood loss. Police were dispatched to the scene when a customer who witnessed the events called 911. Authorities arrived to find the store owner on the floor and unresponsive. He was subsequently pronounced dead by paramedics.
Police linked the two men to the shooting by watching video surveillance footage and examining their phone records. When questioned about the incident, the men are said to have given investigators inconsistent, inaccurate, misleading and incomplete statements. Arrest warrants reveal that they are also accused of attempting to conceal evidence.
The right to remain silent
The detectives who investigate violent offenses like murder are usually skilled interrogators, and suspects who do not avail themselves of their right to remain silent might find themselves at a significant disadvantage during questioning. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals accused of committing serious crimes to ask for a lawyer before making any statements as misleading law enforcement will likely make defendants’ situations much worse.