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Murder Trial Underway in Edgefield
web posted January 5, 2012
EDGEFIELD – The murder trial of
Louis Hunsberger, 33, in relation to the death of 16-year-old Augusta
resident Samuel Sturrup Jr. on Sept. 3, of 2001, got underway at the
Edgefield County Courthouse Wednesday. Hunsburger is one of six charged
in the Augusta teen's kidnapping and subsequent execution style murder
off Community Road in Edgefield County. Steven Louis Barnes, the
convicted ringleader of the group, was
sentenced to death on November 17, 2010 for his part in the murder.
The Solicitor's Office, lead by assistant solicitor Frank Young, laid
out their case in opening arguments just before noon after a jury was
seated earlier in the morning. Young laid out the progression of the
events leading to the murder of Sturrup and Hunsburger's active
participation in selecting the location of the murder.
Antonio Griffen, Richard Cave, and Charlene Thatcher, all of Augusta,
were 17 at the time of the murder and are also facing murder charges.
Richard Cave testified on Wednesday to his participation in the murder
and Hunsburger's role. Griffen and Thatcher are expected to testify on
Grover Daiz testified early in the trial as to finding the skull of
Sturrup on his property in November of 2001 and reported it to the
Edgefield County Sheriff's Office and noted that a hole in the skull
looked like a bullet wound. Sturrup had been reported missing since
Labor Day of 2001. As the investigation continued, the remains of
Sturrup were located near the Hunsburger property.
Edgefield County Chief Investigator Lt. Randy Doran testified to the
steps taken to identify Sturrup and the role of the Richmond and
Columbia County Sheriff's Offices during the investigation. SLED was
also called in to help investigate the murder during the early stages
of the investigation.
The trial will continue today with additional witnesses expected to
include the lead SLED Investigator and a forensic expert to be called
before the prosecution rests their case today or early Friday.
Also attending the trial is Edgefield attorney Randy Williams who will
be representing Alex Hunsburger's brother Julio, whose murder trial is
expected to start on Monday of next week for his participation in the
execution style murder of Sturrup.
Edgefield Daily is withholding specifics of the testimony given at this
time to prevent prejudicing of the potential jury pool for next week's
trial. Williams has already stated that news reports of Alex
Hunsburger's trial will be a major issue leading up to the start of the
trial of his client next week due to pretrial publicity by another news
agency covering the trial.
The case is expected to be handed to the jury for deliberation by
Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman, of Columbia, is presiding over the
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