Woman convicted, sentenced to life in prison in fatal shootings of husband, his son at Loris home

After nearly two weeks in court, a jury convicted a Tabor City, N.C., woman of two counts of murder and she was sentenced to life in prison for shooting to death her 66-year-old husband and his 40-year-old son, according to authorities.

The trial of Sandy Lee Locklear, 41, began June 2 and ended Thursday night after an Horry County jury convicted her of two counts of murder, said Brad Richardson, a senior assistant solicitor with the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Jurors deliberated for nearly three hours before they reached a verdict.

Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Culbertson gave Locklear to two life in prison sentences, which will run concurrently.

Locklear was charged in the Aug. 19, 2012, shooting deaths of her husband, Amos Hatfield, 66, and his son, Thomas Howard Hatfield, 40, in what authorities said was a murder for hire to collect an insurance policy, Richardson said.

“This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the Horry County Police Department,” Richardson said Friday morning. “The family was relieved at the verdict.”

Horry County police charged Locklear and two other men, Nehemiah James Evans, 29, of Nichols, and Odom Bryant, 24, of Tabor City, who are each charged with two counts of murder and first-degree burglary in the incident.

Charges are pending against both men, whose cases will be adjudicated later. The men remain at J. Reuben Long Detention Center without bond.

Locklear also was charged with filing a false police report stemming from a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, according to records.

Amos Hatfield had purchased a home for Locklear, his wife, on Fair Bluff Road in Tabor City on June 12, but he resided with his son in another home he owned on Red Bluff Road in Loris, according to authorities.

The Hatfields were found dead from gunshot wounds about 4:30 a.m. Aug. 19, 2012, inside the home they shared.

After Evans’ arrest, police said they believed Locklear conspired with him and Bryant to rob and kill her husband and his son, Horry County police Lt. Robert Kegler said at the time of the arrests, which was soon after the shootings in August 2012.