Walhalla, SC - Three individuals were charged in a string of burglaries that occurred over the past several weeks on the Utica Mill Hill near Seneca.
Two of the individuals were charged in a homicide that occurred nearby on Ames Street.
James William Toward, 18, and Donte Robert Bacon, 16, were charged with Murder, Kidnapping, First Degree Burglary, Grand Larceny and Possession of a Weapon During Commission of a Violent Crime in the shooting death of Scott Andrew Johnston, 32.
During the shooting investigation, officers determined that Toward and Bacon were involved in the string of burglaries that occurred in the area over the past couple weeks.
Bacon and Toward have been charged with First Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny in relation to the break-in that occurred at28 Ames St. in Senecaon November 10, 2013. They are also charged with Malicious Injury to a Place of Worship, Grand Larceny, and Second Degree Burglary for the November 23 break-in at Ann Hope United Methodist Church at 702 Goddard Ave.
Bacon and Toward have also been charged with First Degree Burglary and Petit Larceny for the November 25 break-in at 1205 Goddard Ave. The two have also been charged with First Degree Burglary, Grand Larceny, Explosives Charges, and Third Degree Arson in relation to an incident that happened on Thanksgiving morning at 27 Ames St., as well as charges of First Degree Burglary and Third Degree Arson for a separate incident that occurred at the same address on December 8th.
Bacon and Toward have also been charged with First Degree Burglary and Grand Larceny in an incident that occurred on January 1 at 30 Ames St.
Donna Lee Bretz, 42, is the mother of James Toward, and is also charged by the Oconee County Sheriff's office for three counts of Accessory After the Fact in relation to three of the burglaries that occurred in November. Bretz's charges are unrelated to the homicide.