MARLBORO COUNTY. S.C. — The first day of testimony has ended in the murder trial of a man accused of killing a Marlboro County woman and her 8-year-old daughter in 2017.

Jejuancey Harrington is accused of killing Ella Lowery and kidnapping and killing her 8-year-old daughter, Iyana Lowery. According to warrants, Harrington robbed Ella Lowery and stabbed her multiple times.

Circuit Judge Michael Nettles is conducting a bench trial in the case, meaning there is no jury. Prosecutors said Harrington recently waived his right to a jury trial in an agreement that removed the death-penalty option if he is convicted.

The 4th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said last week that only one witness would testify on Thursday. That testimony was scheduled in advance of what would have been the first day of the trial on Monday because the person was not available next week.

However, Judge Nettles end up hearing testimony from one prosecution witness and two defense witnesses.

One of the witnesses, Dr. Alicia Wilcox, an expert on the forensic analysis of footwear, testified about her analysis of impressions of six bloody shot prints taken during the investigation.

The trial had been scheduled to start with jury selection on Feb. 6 but was pushed back a week after the agreement. The solicitor’s office said prosecutors talked to the victims’ family before signing off on the agreement.

According to an arrest warrant, law enforcement agents obtained video footage from New Bridge Road in McColl that places Harrington near an abandoned home where “personal belongings of Ella Lowery were found after the murder.”

The warrant also details how Harrington killed the young girl after kidnapping her from her home. Harrington placed Iyana Lowery’s body in a remote pool of water off New Bridge Road in McColl, where she was discovered. Harrington “transported [Iyana] in a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse,” where Iyana’s DNA was found in the trunk of the car, the warrant indicated.

Arrest warrants also show that authorities found Harrington’s DNA on a cigarette at the home on Craig Circle in Bennettsville where Ella Lowery’s body was found. Forensic testing also showed that Iyana Lowery’s DNA was inside Harrington’s vehicle.

Ella Lowery’s cause of death was two stab wounds to the neck and it was found to be a homicide. The daughter’s cause of death was undetermined because of the state of decomposition.

Harrington’s family was at the trial, but the victim’s family was not due to the graphic nature of the testimonies, according to a prosecutor.

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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.

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Taylor Ford is a multimedia journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.