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Two men plead guilty in case of two bodies found burned in vehicle in Socastee

Updated: Dec. 8, 2020 at 3:47 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Two men went before a Horry County judge Tuesday to plead guilty in a 2018 double homicide case in which the bodies of the victims were found burned in a car set on fire in the Socastee area.

Forty-six year-old David Lee Cook and 39-year old William Tatum had both been charged with two counts of murder, among other crimes. According to information from the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, both entered Alford pleas to other charges.

An Alford plea is where the defendant maintains their innocence, but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a jury to convict.

Tatum pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of murder and possession with intent to distribute heroin, according to the solicitor’s office. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, which was suspended to 5 years of probation, according to a representative with the solicitor’s office.

Cook pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 16 years in prison, according to the solicitor’s office.

Last month a jury found another man charged in the case, Zachary Stell, not guilty on charges of murder and arson.

Back in September, Michael Faile 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.

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.

The suspects’ arrests stem from the discovery of the bodies of Matthew Autry and Shawn Anderson, who were found burned inside a vehicle on July 27, 2018 off Butler Road in the Socastee area.

Arrests warrants stated the murders were the result of an attempt to recover heroin and fentanyl from the victims, as well as disposing of the bodies by burning them and the vehicle.

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