Deshanndon Markelle Franks
Authorities filed charges against two men believed to be tied to a double homicide last week in Cross Hill.
The Laurens County Sheriff's Office announced the arrests in a media statement Wednesday morning. Deshanndon Markelle Franks, 26, of 13468 Highway 56, Cross Hill, and Tevin Oneil Hill, 22, of 107 John Grant St., Cross Hill, were both charged with two counts of murder in connection with the incident. Franks also faces a count of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime stemming from the shooting.
Records showed Hill was taken into custody Tuesday and the second supsect was booked Wednesday. According to arrest warrants for the two men, Franks was the shooter in both victims' slayings.
Deputies discovered the bodies of Sammie Dyron Leake, 47, and Nikesha Traverea James, 24, inside a home at 42 Havendale Drive in Cross Hill on Friday afternoon. An autopsy revealed Leake was shot twice and James was shot once. Officials described the two victims as uncle and niece of one another.
LCSO officials said investigators had not yet determined a clear motive behind the shooting deaths. Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols did not say where on the body the victims sustained their respective wounds, but did estimate the time of death to be about 3 a.m. Friday.
Franks and Hill remain in custody at the Laurens County Detention Center. The State Law Enforcement Division and Greenville County Sheriff's Office are assisting LCSO officials in the investigation, which remains ongoing.
Authorities are asking anyone with any information about the shooting to call Laurens County Crime Stoppers at 864-68CRIME or the Laurens County Sheriff's Office at 864-984-4967. Those with information may be entitled to a reward.