A Coastal Carolina University teen charged with two counts of murder in connection with her boyfriend’s parents being killed in a Myrtle Beach hotel room will appear before a circuit court judge for a bond hearing.
On Tuesday, Chelsi Lelia Griffin, 19, appeared before Myrtle Beach Municipal Judge Clifford Welsh, who referred her General Sessions charges of murder to a circuit court judge.
Griffin’s attorney, Kirk Truslow, said after the hearing he would petition the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office to hold that bond hearing later this month, if possible.
The next term of court begins Monday. Griffin will remain in custody at J. Reuben Long Detention Center until her next bond hearing.
Griffin told Welsh that she attends CCU and is from Roanoke, Va.
“I’m a college student. I have a job. I’m a good girl,” Griffin said during Tuesday’s hearing.
Griffin’s family, who lives in Roanoke, hired Truslow to represent her in the case.
“I believe in my innocence. He believes in my innocence. My faith rests solely in him,” Griffin said about Truslow during the hearing.
When Welsh asked Griffin about prior arrests, she admitted she was taken into custody Wednesday on drug charges by Surfside Beach police.
“I did not voluntarily jump into this,” Griffin said of the murder charges against her.
Truslow told Welsh that Myrtle Beach police officers allege Griffin was present when Alexander Gray Turner, 23, shot his parents to death in a room at the Landmark Hotel on Ocean Boulevard.
Griffin had been dating Turner and the couple were arrested together Saturday at Monarch Apartments near Coastal Carolina University.
Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard said Turner’s parents, Carrie Daley Turner, 52, and Steven Gray Turner, 61, of Durham, N.C., were found dead in the hotel room Friday.
Alexander Turner appeared Monday before Myrtle Beach Chief Judge Jennifer Wilson, who set a $50,000 bond for a charge of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Turner also is charged with two counts of murder and must appear before a circuit court judge for bond on those charges.
He is being held at the detention center pending that bond hearing.
Two others also were arrested Saturday with the couple at the apartments.
Grant Anthony Dollens, 20, of Columbia, and Roxanna Lisa Cumpan, 18, of Pottstown, Penn., each is charged with accessory after the fact. Cumpan also is charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Dollens and Cumpan were each released Monday on $25,000 bail. Cumpan’s bond on the drug charge was set at $5,000, according to jail records.
In affidavits filed Sunday against Cumpan and Dollens, Conway police said they helped hide Turner and Griffin, who were wanted by police.
Dollens was previously arrested on Feb. 28 and charged with disorderly conduct and released the next day on $455 bail, according to jail records.
Dollens and Griffin are each enrolled as students at Coastal Carolina University, said Martha Hunn, a CCU spokeswoman.
Turner and Griffin were each arrested Wednesday in Surfside Beach.
In an affidavit filed against Turner and Griffin, Myrtle Beach police said the two had five guns, but only two were recovered during that Wednesday arrest.
A Surfside Beach police officer reported seeing a vehicle sitting next to a gas station at Fifth Avenue North and U.S. 17 with two people inside who “appeared to be lost; they were talking and pointing in a manner that appeared to be a discussion about the direction of travel,” according to a Surfside Beach police report.
The officer approached and smelled “very strong odor of marijuana,” according to the Surfside Beach report. Officers ordered Turner and Griffin out of the vehicle and saw the guns.
Officers said they also found drug paraphernalia in the vehicle and marijuana on Griffin, whose driver’s license also was suspended in Virginia, according to the report.
In the affidavit filed with the murder charges, Myrtle Beach police said that they learned Turner and Griffin were at the hotel and tried to extend the stay of the room, but it was denied by Landmark staff. Soon after, the couple was seen leaving the hotel in Turner’s parents’ vehicle, a 2015 Kia Optima.
Police also learned that credit cards belonging to Turner’s parents were used Friday after their bodies were discovered in the room, according to the affidavit.