Jury finds man not guilty in case of 2 found dead, bodies burned in Socastee

Jury finds man not guilty in case of 2 found dead, bodies burned in Socastee
Zachary Stell (Source: JRLDC)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – One of the men accused of killing two men and then setting their bodies on fire in a car in Socastee was acquitted on Monday.

Zachary Stell’s trial started last week and ended on Monday.

According to 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, the jury deliberated for nine hours before finding him not guilty in the case.

Stell faced several charges including murder and arson in connection to the deaths of Matthew Autry and Shawn Anderson. The victims' bodies were found burned inside a vehicle that was discovered on July 27, 2018 off Butler Road in the Socastee area.

David Cook, William Tatum and Michael Faile were also charged with murder in the case.

Faile pleaded guilty back in September to a less charge. He pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit a felony (kidnapping) and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

A judge sentenced Faile to 10 years in prison for the solicitation charge and 15 years suspended upon the service of 10 years in prison with four years of probation to follow upon his release for the heroin charge.

Cook and Tatum have not gone to trial yet for their suspected roles in the case.

Shannon Ray Little and Jeret Cox were also arrested in the case and charged with accessory after the fact to felony murder. They are also awaiting trial.

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