SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW) – One suspect in the Socastee burned car murder case has been released on bond and another suspect in the same case has filed new documents in his defense.
David Lee Cook, 44, was released on bond on Saturday, according to J. Reuben Long Detention Center booking records. He was booked on July 28, 2018. An order for bond in Cook’s case was filed on February 12, according to the Horry County Public Index.
Arrest warrants show Cook was charged with two counts of murder, first degree arson and possession of a narcotic in schedule I(B)(C), LSD and schedule II for a second offense. The warrants also said Cook was “compensated for his role/involvement in the incident that included the murder and arson of the victims” and he never tried to help the victim or call police.
Michael Wixted Faile, 37, was charged with two counts of murder and trafficking in heroin, morphine, etc. 28 grams or more, according to warrants. A hand-written affidavit by Faile was filed in Horry County on Feb. 6. In that letter, Faile argues he had nothing to do with the crimes.
“I never paid David Cook or Zachary Stell anything,” the affidavit said. Faile claims that Cook showed up at Tatum’s house with someone who said he was the brother of a man who died in July 2018. Faile also said in his affidavit that he had “never seen or met Cook” before Cook reportedly came to Tatum’s house.
“Cook demanded that I give him his brother’s dope and other stuff, in which I didn’t have or knew nothing about,” said the affidavit. “Cook had a gun and threatened all of us, said about the crime in which I’ve been charged with.”
Faile further said in the affidavit “he was going to kill us or would kill us” if someone at Tatum’s house didn’t tell him where his brother’s belongings were. Faile said he left to friend’s house “down the street” and then to a friend’s storage unit in Socastee.
Faile further said Tatum told him that he killed someone. “I left almost immediately after Tatum told me that. I told him that I should call the police on him,” , according to the affidavit.
“Nobody told me or talked to me about committing the crime of murder or any other crime. I was no witness to or present before, during or after the alleged crime, and only know what someone else told me about it,” the affidavit said.
The full affidavit can be read here.
Two bodies were found inside a burned vehicle in July of 2018 on Butler Road, just south of Myrtle Beach.
Audio from the 911 call made after the bodies were found was released in October. “There is a vehicle that has been burnt and it looks to be two dead bodies in it,” the caller told a 911 dispatcher.
“They’re beyond help or were you able to get them?,” the dispatcher asked. “They’re dead,” responded the caller.
Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden says the first victim identified is 35-year-old Shawn David Anderson, originally of Laurens, South Carolina. On August 16, McSpadden said her office received DNA confirmation that 29-year-old Matthew Autry, originally from Kershaw but living in Myrtle Beach, was the second victim burned in July.
William David Tatum, 37, and Zackary Kane Stell were also charged with murder and arson in the case. Jeret Cox was also arrested in the case in August.