Crime & Courts

A 2018 unsolved homicide in the Midlands now has 3 arrested

How do you catch a cold-case criminal? Perhaps with a DNA-based mug shot

Parabon Nanolabs, a Virginia-based company, uses genetic traits from DNA samples to predict the suspect's physical appearance, including ancestry, hair and eye color. The technology could help police solve cold cases.
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Parabon Nanolabs, a Virginia-based company, uses genetic traits from DNA samples to predict the suspect's physical appearance, including ancestry, hair and eye color. The technology could help police solve cold cases.

Family spoke out and a $5,000 reward was offered for information that could help police make an arrest in the 2018 killing of Chester Alphonso Stavis. Now, arrests have been made.

Stavis, 31, was known as “Rock” by his friends, an obituary read.

In November 2018, he was shot and left face down in a shallow waterway in Sumter, South Carolina.

“We can’t sleep at night, missing meals, it really hurts,” Katana Thomas, Stavis’ sister, told WACH. “It seems so unreal. I have flashbacks, just to see ... him face down in the water, just there like he’s nothing.”

The State reported on Stavis’ case as one of seven unsolved homicides in the Midlands last year.

creek where Chester Alphonso Stavis was found
The creek where Chester Alphonso Stavis was found Google Maps

Sumter Police Department announced the arrest of Mary Green, a 17-year-old from Sumter, in connection with Stavis’ death on Saturday.

Sumter Police said Green played a part in a plan to rob Stavis and was an accessory to his killing after he was shot.

Green wasn’t who pulled the trigger, according to police.

Thursday, Parrish Raquan Pollard, 21, of Rembert, South Carolina, a town of about 400 people near the Kershaw and Sumter county line, and Madison Jared Scriven, 34, of Gable, a smaller town over the Sumter border in Clarendon County, were in custody and charged with murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery against Stavis, police said.

A kidnapping charge was added to the accusations facing Pollard and Scriven on Friday, Sumter investigators said.

A judge gave Green a $10,000 bond while Pollard and Scriven are still in jail at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.

Police made the arrest through tips from Crime Stoppers, a statement from Sumter PD said.

Stavis’ death was the result of a robbery gone bad, according to statements made to Sumter police. An investigation is ongoing.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.
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