Crime

Detective details how he thinks a Conway couple was murdered last month

Carlisle
Carlisle

An Horry County police detective detailed just how authorities think a Conway couple was murdered. The couple were found shot dead last month near a Waccamaw River boat landing.

Detective Matthew Singleton was in court Friday morning in Conway at a hearing for an Aynor man accused in the couple’s murder. He said police believe both were shot in the head.

“Upon closer examination of the bodies, we did find there to be what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the head on both ... remains,” said Singleton.

Kenneth Wayne Carlisle, 28, and his girlfriend Jordan Hodge, 21, are each facing murder charges in connection with the deaths of 45-year-old William “Chet” Clemons and his wife, 64-year-old Linda McAllister.

McAllister was Hodge’s grandmother, according to a family statement.

McAllister and Clemon were last seen July 1 and were later reported missing to Conway police, according to authorities. Police say their remains were discovered July 15 beneath a bush in a wooded area near Brown Chapel Avenue in the Bucksville area.

At Carlisle’s hearing, Singleton testified to what police say are the facts and evidence in the case, revealing officers believe the deceased couple were each shot in the head, according to his court testimony.

The couple were found after people in the area said they noticed a foul odor and later went to investigate.

“With the victims found to have suffered from gunshot wounds to the head implying malice, and they were found in a remote area concealed by a bush, indicating forethought and planning of the incident,” said Singleton.

Singleton ran through a list of evidence leading to the arrests, describing how a 2011 Dodge truck, registered to McAllister, was covered in blood inside and found to be at an Aynor home he believed Carlisle and Hodge both shared.

“A substantial amount of blood was located in the interior, rear floorboard of the vehicle,” said Singleton.

He also alleged records showed the last known communication from one of the victims’ cellphones was near to Carlisle’s home, and that Carlisle and Hodge began using the victim’s bank cards in “large amounts” after the couple were last seen.

Family at the proceeding sat quietly and listened. Carlisle remains jailed at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center and was ported in by video to the judge’s bench.

Carlisle’s attorney, Martin Spratlin, picked at the evidence presented and questioned whether any “ballistic evidence” recovered from the bodies. Seth Oskin, the prosecutor, objected, arguing that question was out of the scope for the probable cause, and the judge agreed.

“Is there any evidence showing that my client was at the location that the bodies were found?,” Spratlin asked.

“We’re still waiting on phone records for that,” said Singleton.

Oskin objected to that question as well.

“Due to the officer’s testimony, the state would ask that you bound both these warrants for murder, that they be bound over to general sessions, Your Honor, for further prosecution.”

Magistrate Judge Mark A. Harris ruled at a preliminary hearing that there was probable cause in Carlisle’s case, and pushed the matter up the legal pipeline.

While the judge ruled to move the case along, it must first go to a grand jury. If Carlisle is indicted on the charges against him in the case, the matter would then move to trial.

Hodge did not appear for a preliminary hearing Friday, which is a hearing a defendant can use to have, but is not mandatory.

Going forward, her case must also go before a grand jury to determine whether she is indicted on the charges. The Horry County Public Index shows she has not been indicted.

Both Hodge and Carlisle each face financial transaction card fraud in addition to the two murder charges, records show.

Hodge and Carlisle each remain jailed at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center on bonds of $20,000 for the bank card fraud, and no bonds set for the murder charges, records show.

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