Horry County Police charged a woman Monday with two counts of murder in the shooting of her husband and his son in Loris.
Sandy Lee Locklear, 40, of Tabor City, N.C., was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center less than 48 hours after she allegedly gunned down her 66-year-old husband, Amos Hatfield, and his son, 40-year-old Thomas Howard Hatfield. She was also charged with burglary and filing a false police report.
Amos Hatfield had purchased a home for his wife on Fair Bluff Road in Tabor City on June 12, although he resided with his son in another home he owned on Red Bluff Road in Loris.
Neighbors of Locklear said she had mostly kept to herself since moving into the home.
“All we did was throw our hands up to each other,” said Jennifer Edwards, who lives next door to the home. “We never spoke other than to say hello, so I don’t really know anything about [her].
“We just found out about [her being charged] today. I can tell you I was very surprised.”
It was unknown if the couple were estranged. John Adkins of Loris, husband of Amos Hatfield’s daughter Sylvia, said his father-in-law hadn’t even shared that he had remarried until about six months after it happened.
“He was very private,” Adkins said. “He wouldn’t speak about buying that house for her.”
Adkins said perhaps the reason his father-in-law was so private is that he loved to fish and hunt, often going alone before coming down with health issues over the past couple of years. Adkins said one of their favorite places to go when he tagged along was on Rowe Pond Road in Conway near Lees Landing.
He and his wife didn’t find out about the slayings – despite living only about “four or five miles” from the scene – until about 4 p.m. Sunday, when Horry County Coroner Robert Edge was finally able to locate them.
“It shocked me when he called and said it happened,” he said. “When I found out [they had charged Locklear], I guess I was numb at the time so I didn’t really care one way or the other.”
The couple tried to make arrangements for the Hatfields on Monday, but couldn’t because police are still processing evidence and haven’t released the bodies. Adkins said that, for now, he will simply focus his attention on his wife and the two grandchildren they had given Amos Hatfield.
“I’ll just do all I can for her,” he said. “Just be there for her. That’s all you can do.”
The younger Hatfield also had two children – another preceded him in death – who, according to Adkins, were staying with the mother of his wife, Iola Sandy Lee Hatfield. She is serving a three-year prison sentence for burglary at Leath Correctional Institution in Greenwood, but is eligible for parole Sept. 21.
Contact TODD GARVIN at 626-0307.