Police believe alleged shooter invited into home | News | The Press and Standard

by | May 25, 2017 5:00 am

Last Updated: May 24, 2017 at 11:46 am

By GEORGE SALSBERRY

gsalsberry@lowcountry.com

Colleton County Sheriff’s Office investigators allege that the suspect in the murder of three Ruffin residents was invited to the home.

One of the murder victims, Phillip Miller, had reportedly invited Mar’Keith Chisolm, 19, of 2705 Clover Hill Road, Walterboro, to the home, according to the arrest warrants filed against Chisolm on three counts of murder.

A check of the data on Miller’s cell phone by investigators found that Miller and Chisolm had reportedly been in contact on May 16, Miller reportedly inviting Chisolm to visit his home at 4:30 p.m.

At about 4:48 p.m., callers into the Colleton County Emergency Dispatch office began reporting a shooting incident at the Miller home at 21758 Lowcountry Highway in Ruffin.

Safety forces arriving at the home found Phillip Miller, 46, dead near the front door. He had died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Inside the home, Miller’s wife, Lori, 52, was dead from a gunshot wound.

The couple’s son, Vincent, 13, was found dead on the home’s front yard. He too had sustained a fatal gunshot wound.

The couple’s nine-year-old granddaughter was also at the home with her younger sister. The older girl sustained a gunshot wound to the leg, but her sister was uninjured.

As word spread of the murders, the Colleton County School District issued a statement.

“The Colleton County School District family is deeply saddened and mourns with the Colleton County Middle School family the loss of Vincent Miller, a seventh grade student of Colleton County Middle School. He was a brilliant young man who enjoyed learning and had a wonderful sense of humor. He will be truly missed by the Cougar family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Vincent’s family and friends.”

Other than the information about the cell phone contact between one of the murder victims and the alleged gunman that was used to obtain the arrest warrants, the sheriff’s office is not, as yet, prepared to release other information about the on-going investigation.

Lt. Tyger Benton, the sheriff’s office public information officer, said he had no information concerning a possible motive for the killings or if there were other potential suspects being investigated.

Initial reports on the murders had indicated that marijuana had been located in the home. Benton said he could not provide any more details on that discovery.

At the time of the murder, Chisolm was out on bond. Court records indicate that Chisolm was arrested by the sheriff’s office on two counts of armed robbery and two counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping on Nov. 7, 2016 and was released on $60,000 bond.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrested Chisolm on May 18 at 6:35 p.m. in the parking lot of the Stop & Go convenience store at 1825 Wichman St. and transported him to the Colleton County Detention Center for booking.

The next day, Chisolm appeared in Colleton County Magistrate Court for a bond hearing.

He was ordered held without bond. The hearing was a legal necessity, as state law does not allow a magistrate to set bond on a murder charge. Any bond hearing will have to be held before a General Sessions Court judge.

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