Second person arrested in fatal CCU shooting

bdickerson@thesunnews.com, akelley@thesunnews.comMarch 8, 2013 

— A second person is arrested in connection with the fatal Feb. 26 shooting death of a Coastal Carolina University sophomore.

Stephon Mclain Jr., 22, of Conway, was arrested Wednesday by officers with the Mansfield, Ohio Police Department, according to a press release from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. Mclain was issued a warrant charging him with one count of murder, which could bring the death penalty if convicted, or a minimum sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

Mclain waived extradition and was brought by SLED agents to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Thom Berry, SLED spokesman, said Mansfield police arrested Mclain on an unrelated charge Wednesday, before officers learned he was wanted in South Carolina.

According to a Mansfield police report, Mclain and another man tried to start a fight with a third person.

Once law enforcement had Mclain in custody, they discovered he had an active warrant from Horry County.

The first suspect arrested in the shooting death, Marquis McDonald, was charged March 1 after he surrendered to SLED and the CCU Department of Public Safety. He is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Charges against both men are in connection with the slaying of 19-year-old sophomore Anthony Darnell Liddell, who was shot to death at University Place near the CCU campus. The shooting led to a campus-wide lockdown as police searched for the shooter.

Martha Hunn, CCU spokeswoman, said neither McDonald nor Mclain were ever enrolled as students at CCU.

15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said Mclain has no pending charges in Horry County, but did plead guilty to resisting arrest and manufacturing and possession with intent to distribute of a controlled substance in 2010. He was sentenced to 90 days imprisonment.

Mclain appeared before a judge Friday afternoon, Richardson said, and will remain in custody at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Mclain will have a bond hearing before a circuit court judge, which must set bail for charges such as murder that may result in life imprisonment. Richardson said that hearing likely will be in May.

McDonald arranged to meet Liddell at a predetermined location, although what specifically the meeting was about is not mentioned, according to the arrest warrant for Mclain.

McDonald and Mclain then fired a 40-caliber handgun, striking Liddell three times, the warrant stated. He was pronounced dead at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center about an hour after the shooting.

The warrant says the suspects were together immediately before the shooting, and immediately after.

“McDonald admits to being present during the shooting and states that ‘Black’ did the shooting,” the warrant states.

Witness interviews and cellphone data collected indicate Mclain is known as “Black,” according to the warrant.

Berry said the investigation is on-going and authorities have not yet released a motive for the killing.

Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301 or follow him at Twitter.com/TSN_bdickerson.

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