Prosecution: Suspect broke into 80-year-old Horry County woman’s home before kidnapping, ate frozen pizza
FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) – The trial started on Wednesday morning for a man accused of kidnapping an 80-year-old woman from her home in Nichols and then killing her.
Dominique Brand is charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in the death of a person in a manner to constitute murder.
The charges stem from the death of Mary Ann Elvington, whose kidnapping and death spanned two counties.
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Authorities said that Brand kidnapped Mary Ann Elvington from her home in Nichols in March 2021, forced her to drive him to North Carolina and then back to South Carolina. They said he ended up shooting and killing her in Marion County behind an abandoned grocery store.
Brand waived his right to a jury trial and instead opted for a bench trial.
A bench trial is when evidence will be presented to a judge rather than a jury, and the judge will decide whether the defendant is guilty or not.
On the first day, the prosecution called several people to the stand, including Elvington’s son, Harold.
He told the judge that the last day he saw his mother was the Wednesday before she disappeared.
Harold Elvington also told the courtroom that there was a phone call between him, his mother and an OnStar operator and he was talking to her during the suspected kidnapping. During the phone call, Mary Ann Elvington was heard saying many times she didn’t know where she was and at one point said, “I think I’m in North Carolina, I think I passed the South Carolina state line.” Also in the phone call, the sound of doors being opened and then shut could be heard.
According to prosecutors, they said Brand stole a church van and then abandoned it near Elvington’s home. They said he camped out in the area of Elvington’s home before breaking in and making himself comfortable.
The prosecution focused on a red substance that was similar to “marinara sauce or pizza sauce” that was found over the battery box of the car and fuse under the hood of the car. That’s because the prosecution said that Brand broke into Mary Ann Elvington’s home, made a frozen pizza and drank a bottle of water before kidnapping the 80-year-old.
They said his DNA evidence was found within Mary Ann Elvington’s home and her car.
The prosecution also showed surveillance video from the town of Lake View in Dillon County believed to be Elvington and Brand on Main Street.
In the video, the woman believed to be Elvington gets out of the vehicle from the driver’s seat and the man suspected to be Brand gets out from the rear driver’s side. The woman walks to the back of the car and the two talk, then the woman gets back into the car from the rear passenger side while the man gets into the driver’s seat and drives away.
Prosecutors said Mary Ann Elvington died from a single gunshot wound.
The trial is expected to last through Friday.
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