A man arrested in Georgia in connection with an armed robbery confessed to murdering five people in South Carolina. James Douglas Drayton, 24, was taken into custody following a high-speed police chase after allegedly robbing a convenience store in Hephzibah, Georgia.
He crashed the car, which he stole from one of his murder victims, and was apprehended following a brief foot chase.
While in custody, he told officers that he was responsible for the murders of Thomas Ellis Anderson, 37, Adam Daniel Morley, 32, Mark Allen Hewitt, 59, Roman Christean Megael Rocha, 19, and James Derek Baldwin, 49.
All five victims were shot to death in a house in Inman, South Carolina. Four of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, while the fifth person died in the hospital.
“He confessed to the crime,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said. “He basically said he’d been hearing voices. Not sure what that means for him, but he knew he’d been using meth and had been up for like four days. Hadn’t slept in four days, probably not thinking.”
Wright said that investigators have not determined a motive for the gruesome quintuple homicide.
“These men and women didn’t deserve what they got,” Wright said. “They did not get justice at all. And just because we have someone in custody doesn’t make things better for these families. It just means that they don’t have to wonder.”
Drayton remains in custody in Georgia as he awaits extradition to South Carolina to face murder charges. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.