Couple dead in apparent murder-suicide

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Andrews woman and her boyfriend are both dead after what is believed to have been a murder-suicide that occurred Wednesday night.
According to Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael Johnson, the incident occurred on Thurgood Marshall Highway in the Warsaw Community at about 9:15 p.m.
Williamsburg County Coroner Harrison McKnight identified the victims as Christopher White, 52 of 8777 Thurgood Marshall Highway, and Merlene Nesmith Martin, 48 of  101 North Beech Ave., Andrews.
Johnson said the two have been in a relationship but, according to what investigators have determined, they had been having problems.
On Wednesday night, the two were driving on Thurgood Marshall Highway when it’s believed an argument erupted between the couple, Johnson said.
He said White pulled the car to the side of the road and turned off his headlights.
This prompted a juvenile who was driving by to stop and ask if everything was OK.
“They said everything was fine but then the (juvenile) heard a female scream ‘help help’,” Johnson said.
According to the father of the juvenile, after his son heard the plea for help, he drove “about ten yards to the nearest driveway and turned around to shine his lights on the vehicle to see if he could help her.”
It was while the teen was returning to the scene that he heard a gunshot and saw Martin collapsing.
“This is when he dialed 911 while speeding away,” the teen’s father says.
Both White and Martin were found deceased in a ditch next to the vehicle.
Johnson said it’s believed White shot Martin before shooting himself.
“The investigation is continuing but we believe there were ongoing problems in their relationship,” Johnson said. “This is a  tragedy for both families and it is hard on both communities.”

By Scott Harper

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