Murder suspect caught days after deadly home invasion

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By Heather Ruppe

A Lowcountry man is facing multiple charges in the Sept. 6th home invasion and shooting death of a Colleton County man.

Richard Campodonico is charged with murder, first-degree burglary, kidnapping, armed robbery and a weapons violence. He was arrested at 10:30 a.m. on Sept 9th near Rome, Georgia.

His girlfriend – Megan Andrews – was with him during his capture. She is also charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

Both Campodonico and Andrews were being housed in a Georgia jail pending extradition procedures back to Colleton County.

Campodonico is accused of forcing his way into a Cottageville resident’s house at about 10:35 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept 6th. He then shot the man to death. The crime occurred in front of the man’s wife and daughter: the wife called 911 and alerted authorities to what happened.

The shooting victim is identified as Michael Staton, 39, of Cottageville. He died at the scene from a gunshot wound, according to Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey.

Campodonico was originally described to law enforcement officers as a heavy-set white man with tattoos and a beard. He was wearing a tactical vest and dark jeans during the home invasion. The suspect also stole the victim’s car and fled from the crime scene.

The manhunt for Campodonico began immediately after authorities arrived.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office also released photos of him to the public, and asked for the public’s help in identifying him and in finding him. The pictures were taken from security cameras that were installed in the general area of the victim’s home, said Tindal.

He was arrested after many law enforcement agencies came together for his capture: according to Colleton County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Shalane Tindal, officers from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and the Walterboro Police Department worked together to identify Campodonico and then to capture him.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office located the victim’s stolen vehicle and helped to locate the suspect in Georgia. U.S. Marshals from the Charleston area also helped in the arrest.

“With little evidence to aid in the immediate identification of a suspect, detectives sought assistance from local communities. The results were astonishing. The Colleton Sheriff’s Office received tips from residents all around the Lowcountry,” she said.

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