Four face charges in killing of one man, beating of two others in sex solicitation

July 15, 2014 

— Four people face charges in connection with a killing and armed robbery, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department announced.

Devin Smith, 20, Caleb Blocker, 20, and Marquel King Ross, 21, all are charged with murder and three counts of attempted armed robbery, while Tationna Sowell, 20, charged with misprision of a felony, Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news release Tuesday. Blocker’s arrest came as a result of the Richland and Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and SLED working together.

Smith, Blocker and Ross are charged with assaulting two males and murdering another around 2 a.m. March 15 in the 1600 block of Fairlamb Avenue in Columbia, Lott said.

Sowell approached several men at Latino’s Bar and Grill on Old Percival Road in Columbia, presenting herself as “Mariah” and allegedly soliciting for sex, Lott said. When three men left the bar, Sowell, Smith, Blocker, and Ross allegedly followed them to Fairlamb Avenue, Lott said.

When they arrived at the home, Lott said, two of the victims were severely beaten but managed to escape the assault. The third victim was trapped inside the vehicle where he was then dragged outside, beaten, and then shot. Luis Enrique Contreras-Teran, 39, of Columbia, died at the scene, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.

The suspects also were looking for money to steal from the victims, Lott added.

The four suspects were taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

From Staff Reports

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