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Stephen Wayne Stinnette II Sentenced to 35 Years in 2018 SC Murder of Jerry Lamars Johnson
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Thread: Stephen Wayne Stinnette II Sentenced to 35 Years in 2018 SC Murder of Jerry Lamars Johnson

  1. #1
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Stephen Wayne Stinnette II Sentenced to 35 Years in 2018 SC Murder of Jerry Lamars Johnson

    Lake body buried twice before being dumped; four in custody, one sought

    The Times and Democrat

    A Sumter man was buried twice before his body was dumped in Lake Marion near Eutawville, according to Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis.

    A fisherman found the body of 31-year-old Jerry Lamars Johnson on April 25 in a cove off of Vacation Lane, a couple of blocks from the Indian Bluff Park and boat landing.

    Four people are in custody and one person is being sought in connection with his death.

    Stephen Wayne Stinnette II, 31, of 1722 Pinewood Road, Sumter, has been charged with murder. He’s accused of shooting and killing Johnson.

    Stinnette’s mother, Lisa Avins, 57, of the same address, is facing the charge of accessory after the fact of murder.

    Kimberly McFaddin McLeod, 36, of 820 Bay Blossom Avenue and Andrew Thomas Scurry, 36, of 2595 U.S. Highway 15 South, both of Sumter, are also charged with accessory after the fact of murder.

    Anthony Dustin Dill, 32, of 1280 Bell Road, Mayesville, is being sought on a charge of accessory after the fact of murder. Authorities believe he is armed and dangerous.

    Dennis said Stinnette’s co-defendants helped bury Johnson’s body twice and then transport his body to Orangeburg County, where they dumped it in the Vacation Lane cove.

    Stinnette’s body was moved multiple times because some of the suspects became suspicious that someone may have told authorities about the location of Johnson’s body, Dennis said during a Monday press conference.

    Dennis said investigators are trying to determine what led an argument to turn deadly.

    “We’re still trying to determine the motive. We know that the victim and suspects were acquaintances,” Dennis said.

    Dennis declined to give the specific location of Johnson’s killing and the two graves where he was temporarily buried, but he noted that Johnson was killed in a wooded area.

    With each of the suspects being white and the victim African-American, Dennis said, “We haven’t ruled out the possibility of a hate crime, but certainly our investigation now is leading us that it’s not a hate crime.”

    “In this case, they were all acquaintances and familiar with one another,” Dennis said.

    He also noted that Johnson’s killing doesn’t appear to be gang-related either.

    Investigators are trying to determine if drugs were involved.

    Dennis said other arrests may be forthcoming as the case remains under investigation.

    On April 24, some of Johnson’s family filed a missing person’s report with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

    By the next day, Johnson’s body was floating in Lake Marion, but it wasn’t until April 27 that the Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office was able to make a positive identification, according to Dennis.

    “We are very heartbroken at this situation. We never thought something like this would happen,” said Darron Brown, Johnson’s uncle.

    “Once you lose life, that’s it, you don’t get it back,” he said on Monday after the press conference ended.

    Brown said his nephew leaves behind two children, ages 8 and 5.

    “He was a family man,” Brown said. “They will be missing him.”

    “Right now, we’re just trying to keep them strong and hold them up,” he said. “We’ve always been a close-knitted family.”

    Brown described his nephew as a “good, all-around person who had a good heart.”

    Earlier on Monday, family and friends gathered to pay their final respects to Johnson.

    Third Circuit Solicitor Chip Finney hasn’t eliminated the possibility of prosecutors seeking the death penalty in the case.

    “That would have to be determined in the final investigation,” Finney said.

    “I want to certainly say that we have been briefed by the sheriff’s office and these investigators over the past three days to keep up with these developments,” he said.

    Dennis expressed his appreciation to the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office and Richland County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in the ongoing case.
    In the Shadow of Your Wings
    1 A Prayer of David. Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!

  2. #2
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Stinnette pleads guilty to 2018 murder of Sumter man, agrees to 35 years in prison

    Posted Thursday, October 10, 2019 6:00 am
    A Sumter man pleaded guilty Wednesday to shooting a man eights times in the head and discarding his body in Lake Marion after burying and moving it twice in 2018.

    Stephen Stinnette, 32, appeared before Judge Larry Hyman Jr. at the Sumter County Judicial Center, the tattoos covering his arms and chest hidden under a long-sleeved shirt and jail stripes. Unhidden was his head, which in place of hair was a tattooed hairline and scalp covered in monotone ink save for two massive red swastikas, one above each ear.

    According to evidence presented during the case, Stinnette shot and killed Jerry Johnson, 31, of Sumter, who was found dead in Lake Marion in April 2018. Stinnette accepted guilty charges of murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and, in connection to an incident after being detained, escape from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office Detention Center.

    Before the judge, Third Circuit Solicitor Ernest "Chip" Finney III said seven or eight days after Johnson's family reported him missing, law enforcement found his body tied to a dolly floating in Lake Marion in Orangeburg.

    After investigating the homicide, law enforcement learned Johnson, who is black, had been in contact with Stinnette. Finney said Stinnette, Johnson and another man, Andrew Scurry, 36, reportedly robbed a trailer on April 16, 2018, where Johnson left the crime to get phone service.

    Finney said Johnson leaving the scene led to an argument, which resulted in Stinnette shooting Johnson in the head eight times. Scurry assisted Stinnette in hiding the body in a wooded area, but Scurry started talking about what happened. Stinnette then had Andrew Dustin Dill, 32, help recover and bury the body at another location.

    Finney said Stinnette had his girlfriend help him recover the body a third time and place it in Lake Marion because he became worried Dill, as Scurry, would not stay quiet.

    Investigators found two women who purchased plastic to use in covering up the crime, Finney said.

    Multiple suspects, including Stinnette's mother, reportedly helped Stinnette in the incident. Kimberly McFaddin McLeod, 36, of Bay Blossom Ave., Lisa Avins, 57, of Pinewood Road, and Scurry, who lives on U.S. 15 South, were charged with accessory after the fact. Avins is Stinnette's mother.

    Dill, who is from Mayesville, turned himself in and was charged with accessory after the fact of murder.

    Finney said Stinnette told officers where he hid the weapon and admitted to the violent crime. He also said Stinnette masterminded a riot and escape from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office Detention Center this July, during which an inmate set his bed on fire to distract and attack deputies. A handful of inmates were charged in the incident, and Stinnette was the only one to escape, if only for seven to eight hours.

    Stinnette's defense attorney, Ray Chandler, said Finney's facts were correct on the murder, use of weapon and escape. Stinnette also confirmed the facts of the case.

    Finney provided photographs of evidence to Judge Hyman, including the position in which Johnson's body was found.

    "This is a negotiated plea," Chandler said. Stinnette's plea negotiated 30 years for murder, five consecutive years for the prison riot and five concurrent years for the weapon charge, totaling 35 years of imprisonment.

    Stinnette stood throughout the hearing, straight-faced and clenching his jaw, only answering the judge's yes or no questions.

    Members of Johnson's family, including his aunt, uncle, sister and others, attended the hearing. His sister stepped out of the courtroom during the proceedings.

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