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8 arrests made in Laurens County murder

Top, from left, James Robert Patterson, Aaron Carrion, Aaron Sprouse, Brandon Lee Phillips. Bottom, from left, Billy Wayne Ruppe, Cathrine Ross, Lisa Marie Bolton, Lisa Marie Costello.

3 charged with murder allegedly orchestrated from prison

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office announced six more arrests in the murder of a York woman whose body was found on July 20 in rural Laurens County. Three men have been charged with murder in the execution-styled killing of Michelle Marie Dodge.

James Robert Peterson, who is currently serving a 30-year sentence in state prison for murder in an unrelated case, now faces another murder charge. Investigators say he orchestrated Dodge’s murder from behind bars.

Two other men – Aaron Carrion and Aaron Sprouse – are charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Both men are also charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Dodge’s body was discovered with a bullet wound to the back of the head in a wooded area near Ekom Beach Road. On Tuesday, July 23, investigators discovered Dodge’s vehicle abandoned near the Broad River in Cherokee County.

Carrion is in custody in Sumter, while Sprouse was arrested on drug charges after the murder and is in custody in Cherokee County.

Billy Wayne Ruppe and Brandon Lee Phillips, both of Gaffney, were charged with accessory and conspiracy. They were arrested Tuesday and remain in the Johnson Detention Center. Ruppe is charged with conspiracy after the fact of murder for allegedly attempting to destroy evidence and criminal conspiracy. Phillips is accused of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and accessory before the fact of murder.

Three women also face charges in Dodge’s kidnapping.

Lisa Marie Bolton, who is in custody in Gaston County, North Carolina, Lisa Marie Costello and Cathrine Amanda Ross are charged with kidnapping Dodge. Bolton and Costello also face conspiracy to commit kidnapping charges, while Ross is charged with accessory after the fact of kidnapping. Costello and Ross are being held in Cherokee County.

Because the murder occurred in Laurens County, those charged in connection with Dodge’s death and kidnapping will face those charges here.

In a release from the LCSO, Capt. Robert Wilkie said additional charges remain possible.

“I want to thank our investigators as well as the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office for all of their hard work and dedication during this investigation,” said Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds. “Both of our offices worked around the clock to bring justice to this senseless act of violence.”


  1. James E Tumblin on August 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Excellent police work Sheriff! Very happy that these people were found, the event (finding of a murdered woman) in our community was definitely unsettling. My compassion goes out to those good neighbors in the Ekom Beach area. Great work Sheriff Reynolds and your staff as well as Cherokee County Personnel. Jim Tumblin, 1SG US Army/US Special Forces Ret., Hickory Tavern/ Boyds Mill Pond RD. Laurens, SC.

    • Robert Garner on August 4, 2019 at 9:35 am

      Good job Cherokee county . Praying for victims family. Great police work.

  2. Marion Wyatt on August 2, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    My heart goes out to the Dodge family. My heart also goes out to the family of the people who destroy themselves in this terrible act. Not just one family was affected but there are eight more families destroyed. It’s a sad thing to lose a child and the heart never heals and for a child to be a victim of murder is just horrible. Now we see how drugs destroyed all these lives and families. Only God can forgive because people can’t seem to.

  3. Whatiswrongwithpeople on August 3, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Death penalty for all of them

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