Crime & Courts

Suspect in Winyah Drive attacks charged with murder

A man already charged in the stabbing and robbery of a Winyah Drive woman is now charged with killing her neighbor.

Elbert Wallace, 44, was charged this morning with murder in the beating death of retired corrections employee Linda Derrick, Richland County authorities said.

Derrick, 66 was found dead in her home Saturday on Winyah Drive, hours after another woman living nearby suffered injuries in an attack at her home.

Wallace faces assault and battery with intent to kill, armed robbery and first-degree burglary in that attack.

Deputies said Wallace lived in a Denny Road home, located between the two homes where the women were attacked.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott deputies responded to Derrick's residence at 10 p.m. Saturday after a family member found her dead inside.

Investigators believe the suspect forced his way into the home with the intent to rob her.

After killing the woman and taking several items, the suspect is believed to have fled in Derrick's 1999 Pontiac Sunfire which was found several hours later in the same neighborhood on Apache Drive.

Lott said the victim's jewelry, later identified by family members, was found pawned at Broad River Road business three hours before Derrick's body was discovered.

Witnesses indicated the suspectwas in the neighborhood earlier that week panhandling and that Derrick told him to leave.

State Law Enforcement Division records show Wallace has a rap sheet dating to 1986, with convictions for attempted armed robbery, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and simple assault.

He also was convicted last year on 13 fraudulent check charges and was being held Monday on 11 bench warrants in fraudulent check cases, in addition to the more serious charges, records show.

Derrick died of head trauma in her home late Friday night or early Saturday, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. Deputies have not identified a possible weapon.

-- From Staff Reports