New trial date scheduled for suspect accused in Aynor arson, mur - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

New trial date scheduled for suspect accused in Aynor arson, murder

Tommy Lee Benton (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center) Tommy Lee Benton (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - One of the three suspects charged in connection with the brutal 2014 death of an Aynor man is scheduled to go to trial next month.

According to the July trial roster for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, the trial of Tommy Lee Benton, 24, of Chadbourn, N.C., is scheduled to begin the week of July 17. He is charged with murder and two counts each of first-degree burglary and arson.

He is charged in connection with an April 2014 mobile home fire that led to the death of 68-year-old Charles Bryant Smith.

Allegations are that Smith was restrained and dowsed in gasoline before he and the trailer were set on fire.

Also charged in connection with the case are Mitchel Douglas Cheatham and Douglas Deshawn Thomas.

All three were originally scheduled to go to trial earlier this year. 

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