Sunhouse murder suspects' plan for escape discovered

Sunhouse murder suspects' plan for escape discovered

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The three men accused in the Sunhouse robberies and murders have been moved to a maximum security facility.

McKinley Daniels, 33, of Loris, James Daniels, 27, of Nichols, and Jerome Jenkins, 20, of Loris, were being held at J Reuben Long Detention Center, each charged with two counts of murder, three counts of armed robbery, three counts of using a firearm during a violent crime, and one count of attempted murder.

They are accused of killing Bala Paruchuri, 40, and Trisha Stull, 30, during two separate Sunhouse store robberies in January 2015.

Tom Fox, the director of the J Reuben Long Detention Center, said written correspondence from one of the suspects was intercepted. It reportedly contained plans for an escape.

He couldn't disclose how the three planned to leave the jail or which suspect created the plan, but Fox said the plot was confirmed through an informant.

"Based on the nature of the crimes they were charged with and the details contained in the plot," Fox said. "We felt it would be safer for inmates and staff if they were sent to SCDC."

Fox said he really couldn't go into great detail because he didn't want others to know how authorities found the correspondence or how the suspects planned to escape.

"It causes a security threat and lessens our ability to conduct investigations," Fox said.

The suspects were transferred to Lee Correctional Institute about eight months ago through the state's "Safekeepers" program, according to Fox.

A transfer like this requires the approval of the governor, and while rare, it has been done before for inmates held at J Reuben Long Detention Center.

Fox said it's been done about four times over the past 16 years.

To be transferred within the "Safekeepers" program, the case has to meet certain requirements, which are listed below:

An individual held in county pre-trial confinement may be transferred to the custody of the SCDC pursuant to Section 24-3-80, South Carolina Code of Laws, 1976, as amended, and State of South Carolina Executive Order #2000-11 if the individual falls into one of the following categories: 

1) is considered to be high escape risk; 
2) exhibits extremely violent and uncontrollable behavior; 
3) must be removed from the county facility to protect the individual from the general population or from other detainees.

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