Crime

He’s accused of murder and setting a car on fire in Socastee. This is why he’s now free.

Suspects appear in front of judge in Socastee murder case

A magistrate denied bond to four suspects accused of murder for Socastee area killing. The victims were found stabbed in a burned car. Horry County police have yet to identify the victims.
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A magistrate denied bond to four suspects accused of murder for Socastee area killing. The victims were found stabbed in a burned car. Horry County police have yet to identify the victims.

A man accused of murder and setting a car on fire with bodies inside is now free after posting bond.

David L. Cook was released from J. Reuben Long Detention Center over the weekend after posting $125,000 bond, according to jail records and the mother of one of the victims in the case. Police charged Cook with two counts of murder, one count of arson and one count of possession of heroin.

In late July, Horry County police responded to a burnt car on Butler Road where they found the remains of two men.

Matthew Autry, 29, and Shawn Anderson, 35, were identified as the victims.

Horry police also charged Michael W. Faile, 37, with two counts of murder. William D. Tatum, 37, was charged with two counts of murder, one count of arson, one count trafficking heroin and one count possession of a scheduled drug. Zachary Stell, 31, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of arson.

According to Stell’s arrest affidavit, an unidentified person told investigators that Stell and Cook lured the victims to a location where they were “shot multiple times.” The person, whose information was redacted, then said Stell gave him money to buy gasoline.

The unidentified person said one victim was alive when he returned and he saw Stell and Cook stab the victims several times. Stell then set fire to the vehicle.

Cook also told investigators that he burned the car with the victims inside. At a hearing soon after his arrest, Cook’s hands were heavily bandaged and his face was scarred.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.


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