Crime

Two men charged in Horry County man’s stabbing death

A Murrells Inlet man’s nephew and that man’s roommate were charged Wednesday with murder in connection with his stabbing death, Horry County police Sgt. Robert Kegler said.

Joshua Cody Wilson, 25, and Dustin Clifford Autry, 24, were each charged with murder in connection with the death of 44-year-old Christopher Nance, Kegler said.

The men are being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center pending bond hearings.

Wilson is Nance’s nephew and Autry is Wilson’s roommate, Kegler said. The men lived next door to Nance.

Nance was found dead Tuesday outside a home on a private road near Murrells Inlet, Kegler said.

Nance’s family members, who had owned Nance’s Cedar Hill Landing Restaurant in Murrells Inlet, declined to comment.

Officers were called about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to Van Buren Drive off U.S. 17 business, which is near the Georgetown County line, Kegler said. Nance was found dead outside his home from multiple stab wounds. Police did not release a motive in the slaying.

A police report showed that Wilson told police he was walking to the barn to work out and saw Nance in the garden. Wilson said he went over to check on Nance and saw he was dead, so he called his mother, who then called police.

EMS and police arrived, but could not get close to Nance at first because of a large dog that was aggressively guarding Nance’s body, according to the report. A family member came and took the dog inside the house.

During the investigation, Horry County detectives learned that Wilson and Autry participated in the incident and disposed of the weapon in the ocean, Kegler said. It was not clear what type of weapon was used.

The men were arrested Tuesday, but formal charges were not filed until Wednesday.

The unpaved road leading to the home where Nance was found sits between Coastal Antiques and Coolie’s Marine Services, LLC.

Both suspects have previous criminal records, according to a search by the State Law Enforcement Division.

Autry pleaded guilty on July 24, 2007, to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature before Circuit Court Judge Steven John, who sentenced him under the Youthful Offender Act. Autry received a sentence of six years in prison, which was suspended upon his completion of four years probation, paying $1,997 restitution and random drug and alcohol testing.

John also ordered Autry to be brought before him for any violation during his probation. Autry was arrested on the charge on Aug. 12, 2006, but details of the incident the charges stemmed from were not immediately available.

Autry also had multiple traffic charges and a shoplifting and trespassing convictions, according to court records.

Wilson’s previous criminal record included misdemeanor traffic offenses that began in December 2006 with driving under suspension, operation of an unsafe vehicle, failure to return license plate in Myrtle Beach; an October 2008 trespassing charge in Georgetown County; and a July 2010 driving under the influence charge, according to SLED records. A second DUI offense and DUS charges are pending and were filed in June.

Nance’s death is the sixth homicide in the last 18 days in Horry and Georgetown counties. Overall, it is the 14th homicide in 2012 in Horry County. In 2011, there were 18 homicides in Horry and Georgetown counties and 16 reported in 2010 in the counties.

Officers in Myrtle Beach, Georgetown and Georgetown County are investigating homicides in their areas that occurred last month.

Capt. Nelson Brown with the Georgetown Police Department said Wednesday that the investigation into the shooting death of 25-year-old Alfonso Terrell Thomas of Georgetown continues, but no arrests have been made.

Thomas was found dead Aug. 30 in a wooded area near a path between Legion and Church streets.

Deputies with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office also continue to investigate a shooting that happened Aug. 18 at Club Isis in Pawleys Island. Sean Edwards, 21, of Connecticut, died about an hour after being shot in the chest while in the parking lot of the club.

Myrtle Beach police continue to investigate the shooting death of 30-year-old Marcus Darnell Nelson, who was found Aug. 28 inside a room at Cam Motel at 1203 S. Ocean Blvd, Capt. David Knipes said. Nelson, of Kingstree, died from multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body, according to a preliminary autopsy report.

Anyone with information about the homicides can call Georgetown Police at 545-4300; Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office at 546-5101 or anonymous text a tip to 274637 with the word “GCSOTIP” followed by the message; and the Myrtle Beach Police Department at 918-1382.

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