Beaufort News

Man charged in Hardeeville double homicide

Bernard Christopher Jenkins
Bernard Christopher Jenkins

A 19-year-old Hardeeville man faces murder charges in connection with the May 11 shooting deaths of a Bluffton woman and Hardeeville man found a short distance from their wrecked vehicle.

Bernard Christopher Jenkins was arrested Wednesday after an investigation by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division, Hardeeville Police and the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

The bodies of Octavia Scott, 26, and Desmond Brown, 25, were discovered on Purrysburg Road in Hardeeville, not far from the wreckage of the 2007 Infiniti that had been loaned to them by a Hilton Head Island resident. Scott and Brown both had been shot in the head, and those wounds -- not the automobile accident -- killed them, the Jasper County Coroner's Office concluded.

Blood and other evidence was discovered in the vehicle, leading investigators to believe a suspicious incident took place before crash.

Hardeeville Police Chief Richard Nagy declined Wednesday to explain how the car crash happened, why the two were shot or how blood got on the car's interior.

Nagy said Jenkins knew the victims, who were believed to be dating, and is a suspect because of witness statements and forensic evidence.

Jenkins was seen with the victims "near the time of their deaths," according to his arrest warrant.

"We have some other people of interest," Nagy said. "The case remains active, and there are still other leads to investigate."

Jenkins has been in the Jasper County Detention Center since June following his arrest for failing to appear at a hearing in connection with a Hardeeville burglary. He also had three warrants in Beaufort for failing to stop for blue lights, simple possession of marijuana and driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of .10 or less.

He remained in the Jasper County jail Wednesday awaiting a bond hearing.

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  4. Sheriff's Office: Slain man had warrant for stalking, May 17, 2012