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Two indicted in slayings
One suspect faces three counts of capital murder
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
One of two people indicted Monday in connection with the deaths of Amanda Massey and Robby Lawrence faces three counts of capital murder, Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry announced Tuesday.
The remains of Massey, 31, and Lawrence, 33, both of Stuart, were found May 23, 2011, inside a burned Daewoo hatchback on Willie Craig Road in Bassett.
Perry announced that Darius Taylor Younger, 21, was indicted on three counts of capital murder, three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of murder, one count of robbery, one count of use of a firearm in the commission of robbery and one count of maliciously shoot into an occupied vehicle.
According to Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bob Bushnell, the capital charges against Younger are:
• Capital murder of Lawrence in the commission of a robbery or attempted robbery.
• Capital murder of Massey in the commission of a robbery or attempted robbery.
• Capital murder of Lawrence and Massey in the same act or transaction.
Conviction of a capital murder charge is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
Also indicted Monday in the case was Kayla Mae Bowman, 20, on one count of carjacking and one count of concealing or compounding evidence of a felony, the sheriff said.
All of the charges against Younger and Bowman are in connection with the deaths of Massey, 31 and Lawrence, 33, Perry said.
The two were killed before the Daewoo was set on fire, Perry said Tuesday.
“The (slayings) took place on one part of Willie Craig Road,” Perry said. The Daewoo then was moved to another part of the road before it was discovered around 5:30 a.m. May 23, 2011, he said.
According to previous reports, dental records were needed to identify the bodies inside the burned vehicle.
A special grand jury “impaneled to investigate several crimes” issued the indictments in the case Monday afternoon, according to Perry.
Younger and Bowman were acquaintances, and both knew Lawrence and Massey, Perry said.
Although the sheriff said items were stolen from the vehicle, he declined to elaborate on them or whether they were recovered.
“We had to unravel this case,” Perry said, and noted the investigators believed there “were multiple people (suspects) working together” on the case.
Perry said his office worked with the fire marshal’s office and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office on the case, and that work continues.
The investigation has been and continues to be “a very methodical and detailed procedure” and “this case is still unraveling,” Perry said. “We feel this is a milestone achieved.”
It also is horrific “for the family and the deaths were unmerited,” Perry said, and noted the case remains open.
“We still need the public’s help. We do feel that we have the people responsible for the deaths and the main portion of the crime,” but there may be others involved, he said, and asked anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office at 638-8751 or Crime Stoppers at 632-7463.
Crime Stoppers offers up to $1,000 rewards for information related to crimes. The nature of the crime and substance of the information determine the amount of the reward.
Bowman is being held without bond in the Henry County Jail, he said.
Younger is being held in a state penitentiary, serving six years on an unrelated conviction. Investigators are awaiting transportation orders to serve the indictments on Younger there, Perry said.
According to online court records, Younger pleaded guilty in February to unrelated charges that included robbery, accessory after the fact — unlawful wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
He was sentenced to a total of 20 years with 14 years suspended; three years supervised probation upon release; ordered to pay $2,173.75 in costs and make restitution of $935, records showed.