Two more men sentenced for 2014 death of Aynor businessman who was set on fire in home

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Two men pleaded guilty Thursday for their roles in the death of Aynor businessman in April of 2014 who died when his home was set on fire.

Mitchel Cheatham, 23, of Council, North Carolina pleaded guilty to murder, and Douglas Thomas, 25, of Elgin, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, according to a news release from the 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office. Both men were originally charged with murder, arson and burglary for the death of Charles "CB" Bryant Smith on April 29, 2014.

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Cheatham was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with credit for time served, and Thomas was sentenced to 20 years, the release states.

Cheatham and Tomas assisted in the conviction by a jury of Tommy Lee Benton, 24, of murder, two counts of arson, and two counts of first-degree burglary in Smith's death, the release states. Benton was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences in prison.

"The State would like to thank the number of agencies who assisted in the investigation and prosecution of this case to include the Horry County Police Department, Horry County Fire Rescue, the State Law Enforcement Division, and the Greenville County Sheriff's Office," Richardson said.

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