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.”