Crime

Second man charged in connection to Longs Food Lion murder, robbery spree

A surveillance camera caught the suspected murderers in Chadbourn, NC

Police say two men shot and killed a driver while stealing a car. The men allegedly went on an armed robbery spree from Loris into North Carolina. This video shows the suspects at the Sun-Do convenience store.
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Police say two men shot and killed a driver while stealing a car. The men allegedly went on an armed robbery spree from Loris into North Carolina. This video shows the suspects at the Sun-Do convenience store.

Eight months after a murder and robbery spree that worried residents in northern Horry County, police arrested a second suspect in connection to the case.

On Monday, U.S. Marshals arrested Stephon Miller in Tabor City, North Carolina, according to Horry County police. He is being held in the Columbus County Detention Center as a fugitive of justice and awaits extradition. Horry County officials plan to charge him with murder.

James Bellamy was arrested in August, just days after the spree.

The spree started at about 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 at a Longs Food Lion. When officers arrived at the S.C. Highway 9 grocery store, they found a deceased man, identified as “Jerry” Celentano, 57, inside a white Chevrolet Cavalier.

Police say the suspects also tried to force a store employee in the parking lot to unlock the Food Lion store.

Officers were then called to the Carolina Inn off U.S. Highway 701 at about 11 p.m. for a reported robbery. An employee said two people entered, pointed a gun at him and demanded money. The suspects were described as two black men wearing black shirts and blue pants with black shirts covering their faces except for their eyes, according to a police report. The suspects fled the hotel in a Nissan Altima.

A short time later, officers responded to a report of a strong-armed robbery on Fox Bay Road. That robbery happened about three miles from the Carolina Inn.

The victim’s truck broke down along the road and he said two black men pulled up next to him. The suspects brandished handguns and took the victim’s phone and wallet and fled the area. The victim described the suspect’s vehicle as a dark color Dodge Dart, according to a police report.

Officers also say the suspects committed a robbery at the Sun-Do convenience store in Chadbourn, North Carolina at about 11:20 p.m. An employee said he saw a gray Sedan pull into the lot, and then two black men rushed into the store with their guns drawn. Video surveillance showed two black men wearing dark clothing with their faces covered. They forced customers to the ground at gunpoint and took the register as they fled the store.

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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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