Two Nichols residents charged in weekend beating death

Charges against a 51-year-old Horry County woman will be upgraded after a man died early Monday from injuries he suffered in a fight with her and another man, Horry County police Lt. Robert Kegler said.

Gearlene Boutista Delarosa, 51, of Nichols was charged with attempted murder when she was taken into custody early Sunday, but Kegler said Monday those charges will be upgraded to voluntary manslaughter.

Delarosa is being held pending a bond hearing at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Also, charged in the incident was Santana Waitous Goff, 22, also of Nichols was charged with accessory after the fact of a felony and remains at the jail pending a bond hearing.

Horry County police filed the charges against Delarosa and Goff stemming from the death of 60-year-old Jerome Bessent, who was pronounced dead about 3 a.m. Monday while being treated at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for severe head injuries, authorities said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning, Horry County Deputy Coroner Tony Hendrick said.

Horry County police were called about 9:30 a.m. Saturday to Willoughby Road in the Nichols community for an assault, Kegler said. Officers found Bessent with “a large amount of trauma to the head” and took him to the hospital.

Detectives began to investigate and learned that Bessent and Goff argued and then began to fight, Kegler said. After the assault, Kegler said Delarosa grabbed an aluminum baseball bat and hit Bessent in the head several times.

A records check with the State Law Enforcement Division showed that Delarosa and Goff do not have prior criminal records.

No other details were immediately available and more information will be posted when it becomes available.