Crime & Courts

Bond denied for suspect in Winyah Drive killing, stabbing

Bond was denied this morning for a man accused of killing a Winyah Drive woman whose body was found hours after neighboring resident was stabbed and robbed.

Circuit Judge G. Thomas Cooper granted the solictor's request to deny the suspect's bond permanently.

The suspect, Elbert Wallace, 44, did not appear at the hearing.

He is charged with murder in the beating death of Linda Derrick, 62. He also faces charges in the robbery and stabbing of Carolyn Webb, 66, who lives several blocks from Derrick's home on Winyah.

Investigators believe Wallace had been canvassing the neighborhood begging for money.

Derrick died of blunt head trauma, likely late last Friday night or early Saturday, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said this week. Deputies were called to her home about 9:30 p.m. Saturday after a relative discovered her body, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.

Investigators don’t know what type of weapon was used to kill Derrick, Lott said. Blood found in her home was matched to Wallace by the sheriff’s department DNA lab, he said.

Lott said that at about 6 p.m. Saturday, the suspect was at a Broad River pawn shop selling a ring Derrick’s mother had given to her when she turned 16, along with a necklace of Derrick’s.

Derrick’s 1999 Pontiac Sunfire also was stolen and was located early Sunday on Apache Drive in the Denny Terrace neighborhood off Monticello Road, deputies said.

Lott said investigators don’t know whether Derrick was killed before or after Webb was attacked. Webb was punched several times and stabbed in the leg with a large knife about 1 a.m. Saturday, according to an incident report. Lott said $16 in cash was stolen from her.

Webb, who survived the attack, told investigators Wallace initially came to Webb’s home Friday morning and borrowed some money from her, promising to return later to repay it, Lott said. He returned about 9 p.m. Friday and told her he didn’t have the money but would return later.

After the attack, a nearby church was broken into, Lott said.

Webb on Sunday identified Wallace in a photo lineup, Lott said.

-- From Rick Brundrett, rbrundrett@thestate.com

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