A 16-year-old South Carolina boy has been charged in the brutal death of an 86-year-old church deacon last summer, officials say.
Willie Johnson, who was also a 40-year veteran of the Merchant Marines, was murdered at his home in Allendale in June 2014.
Three other teens — two 16-year-olds and one 15-year-old — were arrested a few weeks after the killing.
Now, officials say that Robert Lee Miller III, age 16, killed Johnson during a botched robbery.
Miller III of Gadson Road in Allendale was arrested Monday after he confessed, SLED officials said in an arrest warrant.
Willie Johnson, a retired man who was a deacon at his church, was found dead last summer with his hands and feed tied up with a bag over his head.
Family members, who offered a reward in the case, remembered Johnson as a husband and father who enjoyed keeping his community clean and generously giving to the Republican Party. Johnson was a member of the Macedonia CME Church in Allendale, according to his obituary.
The incident happened sometime between June 17 and June 19, according to a document from SLED.
A relative said the 40-year Merchant Marine veteran was receiving service from Meals on Wheels and after two days of failed attempts to deliver the food, Johnson was found dead.
Miller III “with malice and aforethought” killed Johnson at 300 Pickrum Street in Allendale, SLED said.
“The defendant and co-conspirators conspired to rob Willie Johnson and when he answered the door… they forced their way in and did beat and kick him about the head and body, causing blunt force trauma to the head.,” the SLED document said.
“They also tied a bag around his head causing asphyxia,” the document continued.
The case was investigated by SLED at the request of the Allendale Police Department and the case will be prosecuted by the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
If convicted, Miller could face 30 years to life in prison.