Sheriff: "One Of The Most Brutal Murders In Richland County"

5:35 PM, Jul 10, 2012   |    comments
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Richland County, SC (WLTX) -- Sheriff Leon Lott calls it one of the most brutal and cold blooded murders here's ever seen.

Two men tortured, bound and killed - and a women left for dead in the woods -then threatened while in the hospital. The two men arrested in the case - are 27-year old William Wallace and 36-year-old DeAndre Diggs.

"You can't get much more cold blooded than what these two individuals did," said Lott.

It was just before noon on June 28th, when Sheriff Leon Lott says William Wallace and DeAndre Diggs entered the Deer Meadow Apartments to rob and kill victims Jamal Pratt and Athell Johnson.

"They tortured one of them trying to find out where the money was at but the money was not there," said Lott.

With their hands bound, Lott says the men shot and killed the victims in the head execution style and at some point they called the girlfriend of one of the victims to the apartment.

"When she got there, they bound her."

The female victim was taken to Bluff and Beckman Swamp Rd, where deputies say the men took her into the woods and shot her in the head but the bullet didn't kill her.

"Once they left she was able to get up with a wound to the head and the citizen found her," said Lott.

The Sheriff says the good samaritan flagged down a sheriff deputy driving by. Once she was in the hospital - it didn't stop, the victim received a death threat. Lott says the two sent an associate to find out where she was staying.

"We were protecting her at the hospital and the hospital has protection. So the procedures we have in place worked and they were not able to find out where she was at in the hospital."

Lott says the victim is lucky to be alive and will remain the protective custody.

"Most of these guys are just career criminals that prayed on people in Richland County and the Columbia area."

In addition to the murder charges, the men are being charged with three counts of kidnapping, one count of attempted murder, and three counts of armed robbery. Sheriff Lott says he believes the death penalty could be sought in this case.

News19 looked up the criminal past of these two suspects.

William Wallace's record dates back to 2004 when he was convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter, Assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He was also arrested in 2007 on charges of armed robbery and assault with intent to kill.

DeAndre Diggs criminal record dates back to 1993 when he was convicted of failure to stop for police. The next year he was arrested for accessory after the fact to armed robbery and pointing a firearm and was later arrested for possession with intent to distribute crack in a school zone - as well as several other offenses.

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