Sumter, SC (WLTX) - Two Sumter teens accused of murdering a shop owner had their first day in court on Friday.
"I'm sure my father is in peace," said 57-year-old Vijaykumar Patel's daughter.
Patel had owned the Save-Mart in Sumter since 2010. Less than a week after he was killed, his suspected murderers were caught. Sumter Police say they are 17-year-old Sincere Dinkins and 19-year-old Larenzo Hagood.
"We all thought this would take months or years," Patel's daughter said.
Patel's daughter, who asked us not to reveal her name, said her family was surprised by the suspects' ages.
"It's unbelievable, they are like kids," she said, "seventeen and nineteen. We're still shocked."
If found guilty, the two could face more years in prison than they've been alive. The two are charged with:
- Two counts of kidnapping, at 30 years each
- Murder, a mandatory minimum of 30 years
- attempted armed robbery, mandatory minimum of 10 years
- criminal conspiracy, maximum of 5 years
- Criminal possession of a weapon during a violent crime, 5 years
"As a mom, it kind of hits home," said Sumter Captain Angela Rabon. "You think, these are young kids and this is happening and what they're doing to the rest of their lives. It's hard to think about that part of it."
Rabon says she's just happy to have brought the family justice.
"Thankfully for the community's input we were able to solve this really quickly," Rabon said.
Bond was not set at Dinkins' and Hagood's first court appearance. A circuit court judge will later determine if they should be able to bond out of jail.
"I'm sure they feel guilty," Patel's daughter said, "they should. My family wants to personally thank the community who has helped so much."
The next court appearance for the two will be on January 12th.