State seeks death penalty for man accused of shooting toddler - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

State seeks death penalty for man accused of shooting toddler in Hartsville

Timothy Oneil Sanders (Source: Darlington County Detention Center) Timothy Oneil Sanders (Source: Darlington County Detention Center)
The scene of the shooting Monday night (Source: RNN Reporter Jody Barr) The scene of the shooting Monday night (Source: RNN Reporter Jody Barr)

HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – Prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty for the man accused of shooting and killing a 21-month-old girl in Hartsville in December 2013.

Hartsville residents Timothy Oneil Sanders and April Dixon, the girl's mother, were arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.

Sanders was charged with the murder of Madison Dolford and the use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Dixon was charged with misprision of a felony and accessory after the fact. She was later charged with murder, and both were later charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

An indictment filed on December 3, 2014, states that South Carolina is seeking the death penalty against Sanders in this case based on three circumstances: the victim of the murder was under the age of 11, the murder was committed for himself with the purpose of receiving money or a thing of monetary value, and the murder was committed by Sanders while acting as an agent or employee of another person.

The indictment also states that South Carolina will call the case against Sanders within 30 days of him receiving the indictment.

The shooting happened on Bell Avenue in Hartsville. Investigators rushed to the home after the child's mother called 911 to report the incident. Hartsville Police Chief James Hudson says the woman was hysterical when officers arrived.

Medics rushed the child to the hospital where the coroner pronounced the toddler dead.

Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee identified the child as Madison Dolford. Hardee said she died from a single gunshot wound. The coroner has ruled the death a homicide.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrest warrant for Sanders accuses him of shooting 21-month-old Madison Dolford in the upper body with a handgun. Probable cause for the murder charge is based on the investigation, witness statements, and evidence recovered at the scene.

The SLED warrant for Dixon's arrest accuses her of assisting Sanders by intentionally misleading law enforcement about the person who shot Dolford, and by concealing her knowledge upon direct questioning.

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