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Judge weighing bond in Black River Road killing

Posted: April 8, 2014 3:43 p.m.
Updated: April 9, 2014 5:00 a.m.

A circuit court judge is in the process of deciding what bond to set, if any, for a Sumter County man accused of killing a Camden man during a March 22 incident on Black River Road. Robert Wendell Simon, 22, of Dalzell is accused of shooting Antwan Dixon, 25, of Black River Road. Simon turned himself in to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) on April 1 where he was served with an arrest warrant for murder.

Simon will remain at the Kershaw County Detention Center after Judge R. Ferell Cothran Jr. announced during a hearing Monday afternoon that he would make a decision at a later date. Court officials indicated that could happen by Friday.

A KCSO deputy found Dixon inside his burning car on Black River Road around 5:35 a.m. March 22 and removed him from the car before the vehicle was consumed by flames. EMS flew Dixon to a Columbia hospital where he died that night from a gunshot to the head.

During Monday’s hearing, solicitors asked for Simon to be held without bond, claiming he is a flight risk based on the fact that Simon did not turn himself to authorities until 10 days after Dixon’s death.

Defense attorney Stanley Myers of West Columbia said Simon denies killing Dixon and that the state’s case is based purely on circumstantial evidence. He said Simon is not a flight risk due to family and community ties.

“The young man has strong ties to the state of South Carolina,” Myers said. “There is no factual evidence that will connect him to the murder weapon. There are no eyewitnesses to indicate that he did it. He is not a danger to the community. Simply because you are charged with murder when you are innocent until proven guilty does not indicate you are a danger to the community. We respectfully ask that the court set a reasonable bond.”

According to a copy of Simon’s arrest warrant obtained Tuesday by the Chronicle-Independent, investigators are alleging that Simon fired several .40 caliber rounds into Dixon’s vehicle, one of which struck him in the head. The warrant alleges Dixon was killed following some kind of domestic disturbance where both Dixon and Simon were present.

“Evidence at the scene suggests (Dixon) was attempting to flee the area in his vehicle while (Simon) was firing upon it,” investigators wrote in the warrant, at the intersection of Pathfinder Trail and Black River Road.

Also Tuesday, a Camden man who has already pleaded guilty to one murder learned he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole for a second murder charge.

Frank Terrance Singleton III, 26, of Camden, received a 50-year sentence when he pled guilty in March for the May 2011 shooting death of 39-year-old Michael Hayes during a home invasion at a Sandspur Road residence just outside Camden.

The May 2011 murder took place at the end of an alleged crime spree during which other home invasions took place along with an armed robbery at the Food Lion in Camden’s Dusty Bend community. The other defendants in the case still face pending charges. Singleton also faces unresolved charges of two counts each of first-degree burglary and armed robbery.

Following his arrest in 2011 and as work continued on the case, investigators determined Singleton was also allegedly involved in a fatal November 2008 home invasion near the town of Kershaw. He is accused of killing Robert Lewis Mackey, 34.

Singleton’s appearance in court afforded the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office the chance to inform him and his attorneys of their decision to seek a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for Mackey’s murder.

Singleton’s trial is scheduled for some time in May.

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