2 arrested in Barnwell slaying

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 5:44 AM
Last updated 9:02 AM
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BARNWELL, S.C. — Two arrests have been made in the Nov. 1 death of a Barnwell woman whose body was found in her burning home.

Michael Paul Buckmon, 36, of Barnwell, and Matthew Bolen, 23, of Williston, are charged with murder, first-degree arson, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and conspiracy in the death of Donna Dempsey, said Barnwell Police Chief Todd Gantt.

Dempsey's body was discovered when the Barnwell Fire Department was called to a house fire on Berry Street. An autopsy revealed 56-year-old Dempsey died of smoke inhalation from the fire.

"It was further determined that she had a blunt-force injury to her head," said Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward in a news release. 

Her body was found after her fiancé, Loy Mitcham Sr., reported the fire around 10:45 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had burned itself out, though Barnwell City Fire Chief Tony Dicks said there was "intensive heat."

Bolen was arrested Monday in Anderson County and is awaiting transport back to Barnwell County, Gantt said.

The police chief said he could not comment on any connections between the victim and the two suspects.

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nocnoc 11/12/13 - 09:19 am
curly123053 11/13/13 - 01:02 pm
Fry Him This Time!!

It turns out that Mr. Buckman had been serving a life sentence for another Barnwell murder back in 1999 and the SC Supreme Court released him for lack of evidence. I was working EMS down there at that time and I remember the owner of the Chinese Express being found shot to death in the robbery outside her restaurant. Now he has killed someone else. I find this sickening that some lawyer twisted the thought process of the SCSC resuling in a killer to be freed to do it again. Sad! I say DEATH this time!!

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