6 charged after man’s body found in shallow grave in SC

News

Andrea Jones Cook, Bobby Ray Smith, David Jeffery Stokes, Jeffrey Michael George, Kurt Russell Kutson (Greenville Co. Detention Center)

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office officials said six people have been arrested after a man’s body was found buried in a shallow grave in Greer on Monday.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, deputies at the Law Enforcement Center were approached by a man on Dec. 16 who gave information that a body may have been buried on a property on Cripple Creek Road in Greer.

During an investigation, the body of a man in a shallow grave Monday afternoon at that location.

The Greenville County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Ivan Vladimirovich Gula, 41, of Duncan.

Coroner Jeff Fowler said Gula died from multiple stab wounds.

Sheriff’s Office officials said Monday evening that investigators made the first arrest in the case, charging Kurt Russell Knutson, 38, with accessory after the fact.

An investigation revealed that five other people were involved in the murder and were all arrested by late Wednesday evening, according to a sheriff’s office officials.

The other five people arrested were David Jeffery Stokes, 39, Audrea Jones Cook, 33, Bobby Ray Smith, 35, Jeffery Michael George, 45 and Patrick Shane Poole, 42.

Stokes, Cook, Smith, George and Poole were each charged with murder and kidnapping.

According the release, investigators learned that Gula was “brutally murdered” from an attack they believe started inside a mobile home located on C and S Drive on Dec. 1.

Following the attack, Gula was taken a couple of miles away to the location on Cripple Creek Road, where he was then placed in a shallow grave.

According to arrest warrants, Knutson dug a grave in the woods off of Cripple Creek Road and then buried Gula’s body in the grave after he was beaten and stabbed to death by Stokes, Cooke, Smith, George and Poole.

According to the release, investigators have not determined where Gula was actually killed.

Sheriff’s Office officials said investigators are working to determine what led up to Gula’s murder, but have learned that at least one of the suspects were familiar with each other.

All six suspects were taken to the Greenville County Detention Center, where they remain without bond.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories