Horry County police seek third suspect in Socastee shooting, fatal crash

troot@thesunnews.comJanuary 24, 2014 

Horry County police continued Friday to search for a third person wanted in a Dec. 17 shooting that occurred just before a vehicle crash that killed a Socastee man on S.C. 707, according to Lt. Robert Kegler.

Police had been searching for two 28-year-old men, Ronald Terrel Hamlet of Kingstree, and Michael Scott Stevenson of High Point, N.C., since the incidents in Socastee. A series of events occurred before 35-year-old Elvan Douglas was killed in the crash, which police said was intentional.

On Wednesday Horry County police charged Stevenson with armed robbery and attempted murder, Kegler said. Stevenson remained held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 10:30 a.m. Friday on $50,000 bond.

It was unclear how Stevenson was taken into custody on Wednesday.

Stevenson does not have a prior criminal record or any arrests, according to a records check with the State Law Enforcement Division.

Hamlet is wanted on the same charges that Stevenson was arrested on and according to a SLED records check Hamlet was arrested in 2005 and 2013 as well as cited for speeding and a seatbelt violation in June 2007.

In October 2005, Kingstree police charged Hamlet with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor less than 11 years of age, according to SLED records. Hamlet was convicted of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in the incident and ordered to serve two years on probation and pay a $200 fine.

The Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hamlet in February 2013 on a charge of third-degree assault and battery, according to records. He was ordered to pay a fine or serve jail time in May for the charge.

Also arrested in the case was Jessy Larinda Bracey, 23, of Myrtle Beach, who faces the same charges as Stevenson and Hamlet. Bracey remained jailed at 10:30 a.m. Friday on $70,000 bond, according to jail records.

Bracey was on probation for a second-degree burglary conviction from an arrest by Dillon police, according to state records. In August, 2012, Bracey was sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act to six years in prison, which was suspended to three years probation.

Police took Bracey into custody at the scene of the Dec. 17 crash on Socastee Boulevard and said she was in a small white two-door vehicle with the two men.

Douglas died after he got into his truck to chase after the suspects following a shooting and robbery about 5:15 a.m. Dec. 17 outside an apartment complex along Spring Creek Drive.

A 37-year-old man was shot in the arm and found by police hiding in some weeds near the complex, which is off Luttie Road, according to an Horry County police report. A 52-year-old man told officers he heard two gunshots, saw a vehicle parked near the dumpster and found the shooting victim moaning in the weeds.

The shooting victim told police he was at a townhouse playing “a friendly game of poker” and as he walked toward his vehicle, two men came up to him and started shooting at him, according to the report. The victim was shot in the arm, but he did not know the men who shot him.

In a second Horry County police report, an officer met a 49-year-old man, who emergency responders thought was having a heart attack, outside the townhouse complex. That victim said he was at the townhouse, walked outside and saw the two men wearing stocking caps and armed with guns approach him and the shooting victim.

The suspects ordered the men, a 27-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man to the ground and to empty their pockets, according to the report. But the shooting victim tried to run away and that was when he was shot.

The suspects then drove away, and Douglas chased after them.

The vehicle crash happened near the Kangaroo convenience store at 4481 Socastee Blvd., shortly after the shooting.

Douglas died at the scene from multiple traumas he suffered in the crash, Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler said.

At the time of the incident, Socastee Boulevard between Manor Circle and the north entrance of Brandymill subdivision was closed for about six hours while Horry County police and Highway Patrol troopers reconstructed the crash, Kegler said. Police searched the area for Hamlet and Stevenson, but did not find them following the crash.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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