Clio man, teen arrested for Townsend murder
Officials with the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office announced that a Clio man and a teen have been charged with the murder of Verkina Lasharell Townsend.
Lt. Trevor Murphy with the Sheriff's Office said Eric Quennel Jones, 28, and a 16-year-old have been charged with murder, first degree, burglary, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and criminal conspiracy.
Jones, of Clio, has also been charged with two additional counts of burglary first degree and one count of pointing and presenting a firearm.
The teen, also of Clio, has been charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and unlawful carrying of a pistol.
On April 15, the Bennettsville Police Department responded to 224 Windham St. in Bennettsville in reference to a victim being shot.
Once on the scene, Bennettsville Police discovered 23-year-old Townsend had been killed by a fatal gunshot wound during an apparent home invasion. SLED Crime Scene Units were called in to process the scene.
Murphy said Bennettsville Police later contacted Sheriff Charles Lemon and asked the Sheriff’s Office to move forward with the investigation.
In a statement, Murphy said, “We are thankful for God’s favor and guidance throughout this investigation and hope that this brings some closure and healing to the family and friends of Ms. Verkina Townsend. We could not be more appreciative of the prayers and support from the community during this investigative process and we ask that our community would continue to pray for the family and friends of Ms. Townsend as well as the families of Mr. Jones and the teen. This is an ongoing investigation and anybody with any additional information is encouraged to contact the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office.”
Jones is being held at the Marlboro County Detention Center. The 16-year-old is in the custody of the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.