Sheriff: Man who killed 5 was high, hadn’t slept for 4 days

Oct 11, 2022, 1:21 PM | Updated: 3:22 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A man using drugs who hadn’t slept in days shot and killed five people in a South Carolina home where people gathered to get high, a sheriff said Tuesday.

James Douglas Drayton, 24, was arrested on Monday in Burke County, Georgia, after crashing during a police chase, said Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright at a news conference. Drayton was driving a car taken from the home where the shooting took place in the city of Inman, the sheriff said.

Burke County deputies said they chased Drayton after he tried to rob a convenience store at gunpoint and kidnap an employee. It’s about 145 miles (233 kilometers) between the house in Inman and the gas station.

Wright said Drayton confessed to the killings, telling police that he was high on methamphetamine, hadn’t slept for four days and handed over the gun he said he used to kill everyone in the home where he was also staying.

“I don’t have answers as to why. He said some things in his interviews that I’m going to hold on to because his attorney probably needs to process some of this stuff,” Wright said. “It’s awful.”

Drayton is being held in the Burke County jail awaiting extradition. He will be charged with five counts of murder, authorities said. Records did not list an attorney.

The killings happened Sunday at a home where people frequently went to use drugs, Wright said.

But the sheriff said the fact that the victims were using drugs doesn’t mean he will treat the killings any differently.

“Wouldn’t have mattered to me if they were church members and never did any of that stuff, or they were heroin addicts. They were still somebody’s son, brother, friend, dad,” Wright said. “They are all a child of God — they didn’t deserve what they got.”

The shootings apparently happened Sunday morning, but deputies were not called for about 10 hours, authorities said.

Four of the victims have been identified. They are Thomas Ellis Anderson, 37; Adam Daniel Morley, 32; Mark Allen Hewitt, 59; and Roman Christean Megael Rocha, 19 , according to the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office.

The family of the fifth victim has not been notified yet, the office said.

Wright said this s the largest number of people he can remember killed in one episode in Spartanburg County. Four people were shot to death at the Superbike motorcycle shop in November 2003 by a man who went on to plead guilty to seven murders over a decade.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A Chevron sign is displayed outside one of the company's gas stations in Bradenton, Fla., Fe...
Associated Press

Biden eases Venezuela sanctions as opposition talks resume

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Saturday eased some oil sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to support newly restarted negotiations between President Nicolás Maduro’s government and its opposition. The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits […]
12 hours ago
FILE - This file booking photo provided by the Delaware Department of Justice shows Barry Croft Jr....
Associated Press

Judge denies bid for new trial in Whitmer kidnapping case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a new trial request by two men convicted of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Lawyers for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. alleged misconduct by a juror and unfairness by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker following their conviction by a federal jury […]
12 hours ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Kevin Johnson.  A federa...
Associated Press

Judge denies 19-year-old’s ask to attend father’s execution

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch her father’s death by injection, upholding a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in […]
12 hours ago
FILE - This March 6, 2014, file photo shows the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation's only unde...
Associated Press

US nuclear waste repository begins filling new disposal area

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Workers at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository have started using a newly mined disposal area at the underground facility in southern New Mexico. Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant made the announcement this week, saying the first containers of waste to be entombed in the new area came […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the Broward County Courthouse i...
Associated Press

New state voter fraud units finding few cases from midterms

WASHINGTON (AP) — State-level law enforcement units created after the 2020 presidential election to investigate voter fraud are looking into scattered complaints more than two weeks after the midterms but have provided no indication of systemic problems. That’s just what election experts had expected and led critics to suggest that the new units were more […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Liability finding in Conley rape allegation to be appealed

CLEVELAND (AP) — An attorney is vowing an appeal for a woman found liable by a civil jury for malicious prosecution in a rape allegation she made against a former Ohio State football standout more than five years ago. The woman’s attorney, Patrick Thomas, said his client “deserves justice and patiently waited for her day […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Sheriff: Man who killed 5 was high, hadn’t slept for 4 days