Crime across Sumter and Clarendon County leaves woman dead, suspect arrested | Daily News Byte


COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A joint investigation from Sumter and Clarendon County announced an arrest Wednesday.

Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis and Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley said Jason Tyrell Ford, 22, was arrested in a murder and attempted murder investigation. He was charged with attempted armed robbery, attempted murder, and possession of a firearm during a violent crime out of Sumter County.

Dennis said on Dec. 14 the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office responded to Old Camden Rd. in reference to a ‘shots fired’ call. Investigators found a victim who reported that he had come out of his residence when he found a man trying to get into his car. The suspect shot him three times when confronted, the victim was not hit but the debris hit his face.

The victim told investigators that she saw the suspect leave in a silver Toyota Corolla. Surveillance video identified the car and investigators were able to identify the vehicle. The vehicle was returned to a woman registered in Clarendon County.

At that point in the investigation, Sumter County deputies contacted the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office and requested their assistance in contacting the person, who was registered to New Zion.

Sumter deputies followed the address of Mae Edith Burgess, 72, in the 1800 block of Oakdale Rd. Burgess was found dead inside his home and had been fatally shot twice. A Dodge Durango was seen in the yard, it returned to a resident on Ashby Rd. The car was reported stolen the previous day on December 13.

Investigators said at that point it became clear that the shooting, the murder, and the stolen vehicle were all connected. Ford and Baxley decide to proceed as a joint investigation. SLED was asked to assist with follow-up.

Baxley said SLED investigators used accelerated DNA testing in the investigation to identify Ford as a suspect. Ford was arrested at his Sumter County residence on Dec. 20 after warrants were issued for a shooting on Old Camden Highway in Sumter. Deputies from both departments and SLED agents made the arrest without incident.

Baxley said he met Burgess’ family. He said at present, there appears to be no motive for his murder. The Clarendon County charges include murder, burglary 1st degree, grand larceny, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Baxley said there could be additional charges in the case.

Burgess’s Toyota has never been recovered. Anyone with information on the vehicle is asked to contact their local law enforcement.

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