Two arrested in preacher's slaying

BARNWELL, S.C. - Two people have been charged in connection with the July 6 shooting death of a Springfield pastor.


William Allen Owens, 31, of Williston, S.C., and Hariet Renee McKiney, 32, of Pittsville, Md., have been arrested in the murder of the Rev. Phillip McCreary Sr.

The Rev. McCreary, 51, of Springfield, died from a single gunshot wound to the head while fishing on the South Fork of the Edisto River.

Mr. Owens is being held in the Barnwell County Detention Center with a bond hearing in Blackville, S.C., scheduled for today.

Ms. McKiney is being extradited from Maryland. She is believed to be Mr. Owens' girlfriend, said Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll.

Sheriff Carroll would not discuss whether a motive has been determined in the shooting.

He said the break in the case - which he declined to elaborate on - came as a surprise.

"I am thankful that there are good people left in this country able to furnish information that allowed us to arrest these individuals," he said.

On July 6, Annie McCreary became concerned when her husband didn't return home from fishing at the South Carolina 39 landing.

She went to the landing and found her husband's truck, but not him.

She then called friends to accompany her return trip to the landing to search for the pastor, Sheriff Carroll said.

That's when they discovered the Rev. McCreary's body near the edge of the river, Sheriff Carroll said.

More than 700 mourners turned out July 13 for the Rev. McCreary's funeral at the Blackville-Hilda High School auditorium.

The Rev. McCreary was an associate pastor at Blackville's Macedonia Baptist Church in Barnwell County where he taught adult Sunday school and Wednesday night Bible study.