James Douglas Drayton: Suspect in 'largest single murder' in South Carolina county was ‘hearing voices’
INMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA: A man who has been suspected of killing five people in Inman home in South Carolina has been arrested after a police chase, authorities said on Tuesday, October 11. The man has been identified as James Douglas Drayton, 24 who admitted to fatally shooting five people over the weekend in Inman town, as per Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, New York Post reported.
At around 7.45 pm on Sunday, police were called in response to a death call at a residence on Bobo Drive. They found four bodies at the home: Thomas Ellis Anderson, 37; Adam Daniel Morley, 32; Mark Allen Hewitt, 59; and Roman Christean Megael Rocha, 19 years old. A fifth victim, 49-year-old James Derek Baldwin, was brought to Spartanburg Medical Center and died during surgery on Tuesday. According to the police, they were shot on Sunday morning around 9.am.
Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office's statement reads, "That suspect fled in a vehicle that was registered to a family member of one of our victims. They contacted our office for a welfare check and to see if they knew about the vehicle. Our investigators had already located belongings with the name of the suspect in the residence on Bobo Dr. That person has been identified as James Douglas Drayton, 24 YOA, B/M"
During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said, "This is the largest single murder we've had." Police also stated that none of the victims were related and had been living at the house at the time of the homicide. Investigators found that Drayton had been residing in the home for about two weeks. Police "obtained a full confession from Drayton about this incident," the sheriff's office said, despite the fact that the circumstances surrounding the massacre remain unknown. News report says the motive may be drugs. Wright stated, "He confessed to the crime and said basically he’d been hearing voices. Not sure what that means for him but he knew he’d been using meth and had been up for like four days. Hadn’t slept in four days, probably not thinking." On Monday, October 8, Drayton was detained in Burke County, Georgia, which is 140 miles south of Inman.
In response to an armed robbery and possible kidnapping, Burke County deputies discovered the vehicle Drayton had taken from the South Carolina residence on Monday morning, according to Wright. Drayton is accused of robbing a convenience store in Hephzibah while brandishing a gun at the cashier. When responding deputies spotted Drayton's car, a chase began that reached 80 mph before Drayton crashed his car, according to the report cited by WYFF.
As reported by WYFF, Wright said that drug users frequently visited the residence on Bobo Drive, and all of the victims were likely drug users. He said, "These men and women didn't deserve what they got. They did not get justice at all. And just because we have someone in custody doesn't make things better for these families. It just means that they don't have to wonder." Drayton faces warrants including five counts of murder and four counts of Possession of a Weapon during the commission of the "largest single murder."