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Former neighbors say Wagener suspect was violent man

Ken Myers recalled as heavy drinker who liked to shoot his guns

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Kenneth Myers was unpredictable.

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Sunshine McLeoud talks about her friend and former neighbor Esther Baldwin, who was killed Saturday.   Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Sunshine McLeoud talks about her friend and former neighbor Esther Baldwin, who was killed Saturday.


A former neighbor of the quadruple homicide suspect described Myers as a frightening man who ranged from a Bible-toting believer who talked of the ministry to a well-armed threat who liked to shoot his arsenal of guns.

Kenneth and Sunshine McLeoud said that, sadly enough, they weren't surprised when they heard their ex-neighbor had killed someone. They just couldn't believe he killed four people.

One of the victims was Myers' ex-girlfriend, Esther Baldwin.

"When he shot her, he took away my best friend," Sunshine McLeoud said Wednesday.

State and local authorities are still trying to determine what led to the killing of four women at Myers' hands and then his own suicide.

Police say he fatally shot his 25-year-old wife, Angela Myers; her twin sister, Tabatha T. Brown; and their 50-year-old mother, Vicky May Hook Brown, on Saturday. He then headed to the home of his ex-girlfriend, 47, on Big Branch Road, and fatally shot her before taking his own life after a police chase.

Sunshine McLeoud recalled calling authorities several times after hearing a commotion from Baldwin and Myers' home.

McLeoud knew what Myers was capable of because he repeatedly had pulled a gun on her husband.

The first instance, Kenneth McLeoud said, was when he and Myers were going on a fishing trip. As Myers drove, he pulled out a loaded handgun and put it to his neighbor's head. He later claimed he was testing the man he often referred to as "his best friend."

It was a gun Myers carried in his pocket at all times.

The next time Myers pulled a gun on her husband, Sunshine, a former detention officer, met him with her own gun and a 911 call.

"I made it back into my house, but he stood at the fence line and yelled, 'I'm going to kill your whole family!' " Ken McLeoud said.

The family said that when officers arrived more than an hour later, Myers was gone and officers didn't seem concerned.

"I wouldn't let my kids play outside," Ken McLeoud said. "I was scared of them standing near windows. The guy could have moved through my house and never left his porch. That's how afraid we were of Myers at this point."

He wasn't always like that. Myers often quoted the Bible and spoke of plans to go into the ministry. He also frequently apologized to the McLeouds and blamed the devil for his actions.

He spoke with Ken McLeoud of his militia experience in Detroit and said he had buried antibiotics, ammunition and other survival items just in case.

MYERS HAD BEEN charged in Aiken County with having an open container in 2008, assault and battery in 2009, and disorderly conduct and thoughtless driving in 2010.

Sunshine McLeoud said Baldwin confided in her that Myers was verbally, but also physically, abusive. He refused to let her have a job, wear makeup or leave the home. One time, he pulled a gun on Baldwin and pulled the trigger, but the gun was unloaded.

"She let me know when I chose the friendship, it made him angry," Sunshine McLeoud said of her friendship with Baldwin.

When Myers left Baldwin nearly two years ago for Angela Myers, Sunshine McLeoud recalled Baldwin as being "relieved but also frightened."

The women ran into each other a week ago and planned to meet for dinner.

"She looked fabulous, and I let her know," McLeoud said.

After the discovery of the first three victims, a man came forward with information leading officers to believe Myers might be headed for Baldwin.

"There was a conversation between the suspect and a Wagener officer sometime prior to this incident occurring -- it may have been weeks prior, but not hours or minutes," said Aiken County sheriff's Capt. Troy Elwell.

The officer said Myers had mentioned that he "would hurt certain people if he snapped." The four women had been listed, but the officer never saw it as more than venting at the time.

Baldwin's relatives said they called officers to check on Esther, but help didn't arrive for hours.

Elwell said records show deputies arrived exactly 10 minutes after they were dispatched.

"To the best of my knowledge, there was no extended delay between any phone call and us responding to the location," Elwell said Wednesday. "The delay they may have been talking about was when they made the call from the first incident location at 6 in the evening and the call at the second location ..."

ELWELL SAID INVESTIGATORS are still attempting to determine what led to Myers' snap that killed four women and himself.

"The (Baldwin) family says they have a suicide note," he said. "Law enforcement has asked the family to provide us with that. They have yet to do so."

The family reportedly discovered the note in Baldwin's vehicle, which Myers stole and was driving when police found him and chased him, and in which he eventually shot himself. The vehicle had been processed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division when the suicide note was found.

SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said she is not at liberty to discuss any of the circumstances in the homicides because they are part of an ongoing investigation.

Elwell said Aiken County investigators are treating the case as if the suspect were still alive. The only difference is that the case won't be prepared for court.

"We try to do the exact same thing to bring the remaining family members what little bit of closure we can and let them know we've done everything possible to make sure justice has been served as much as we can do," he said. "It's just unfortunate that we can't bring them the closure of prosecuting the person responsible."

Comments (19) Add comment
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TK3
562
Points
TK3 07/06/11 - 12:10 pm
0
0
Myers was evidently

Myers was evidently unbalanced but anyone that can kill a Mother in front of her children has NO excuse and deserves a very hot reception in hell.

jross1981
69
Points
jross1981 07/06/11 - 12:28 pm
0
0
Theres a lot of instances of

Theres a lot of instances of police officers not responding in a timely matter or at all in the lead up of this. Somebody needs to be held accountable.

raul
5749
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raul 07/06/11 - 12:45 pm
0
0
I think someone that would

I think someone that would pull a gun on me would cease to be my friend after the first time.

my.voice
5178
Points
my.voice 07/06/11 - 12:49 pm
0
0
This is a nightmare of a

This is a nightmare of a story and the fact it happened in our own backyard makes it even more tragic. Condolences to the families destroyed by this senseless aggression.

follower
92
Points
follower 07/06/11 - 01:00 pm
0
0
Bi-polar? Thoughts of going

Bi-polar? Thoughts of going into the ministry and killing 4 people are as extreme as it gets.

happychimer
19546
Points
happychimer 07/06/11 - 01:32 pm
0
0
He sure saved the tax payers

He sure saved the tax payers a lot of money by killing himself.I keep thinking about that 7 yr old girl witnessed his killing her mama, aunt, and grandmama, The girl grabbed her baby brother and ran a mile for help.

augusta citizen
10021
Points
augusta citizen 07/06/11 - 03:51 pm
0
0
I agree with Raul!

I agree with Raul!

TK3
562
Points
TK3 07/06/11 - 03:57 pm
0
0
They need to find out just

They need to find out just why it took so long for police to respond and why Myers ex-female partner, that he later executed, was not warned.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 07/06/11 - 04:07 pm
0
0
A lot of folks THINK

A lot of folks THINK "getting" fire insurance by walking down an isle during a preachers invitation automatically makes them Christians.
They never repent.
They're trying to trick Heaven to try to stay out of Hell. Jesus warned us about them and said,. "You will know them by their fruit".
This guy was NEVER saved as proven by his producing such bad fruit. You MUST repent and turn from your old ways and walk in the new ways the Holy Spirit will lead you & guide you in. Ananias & Safira tried to trick God but God smote them both dead as an example of what happens when man tries to CHEAT God.

david jennings
624
Points
david jennings 07/06/11 - 04:23 pm
0
0
Im convinced Myers was a bomb

Im convinced Myers was a bomb waiting to explode.By the account Ms. Baldwins sister gave in the article I read,all the signs were there.No makeup,forced to quit her job,wasnt allowed to leave the house,no friends,not too normal by any stretch.Tragic story indeed.

david jennings
624
Points
david jennings 07/06/11 - 04:30 pm
0
0
Oh and the notes found,that

Oh and the notes found,that shows he knew what he was about to do was wrong,so he needed to explain.

charliemanson
1
Points
charliemanson 07/07/11 - 05:25 am
0
0
Sounds like Meyers

Sounds like Meyers unfortunately dropped through the cracks of the mental health system.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 07/07/11 - 05:59 am
0
0
One begins to question the

One begins to question the motive$ of the Baldwin family in withholding the suicide note from the police.

happychimer
19546
Points
happychimer 07/07/11 - 08:53 am
0
0
Maybe SLED has the note.

Maybe SLED has the note.

soldout
1283
Points
soldout 07/07/11 - 10:15 pm
0
0
He was probably influenced by

He was probably influenced by a demon. Some type of deliverance is what he needed but he apparently didn't want it. Jesus dealth with demons a lot and they are active today.

Stella
0
Points
Stella 07/08/11 - 08:31 am
0
0
Believe me no one is

Believe me no one is withholding the suicide note and there is no motive$$. My family would never do that. Please, please do not beleive everything you read or hear. Nothing will bring my sister back.

Stella
0
Points
Stella 07/08/11 - 08:45 am
0
0
sad

sad

Stella
0
Points
Stella 07/08/11 - 08:43 am
0
0
R.I.P.

R.I.P.

Rise From The Shadows
0
Points
Rise From The Shadows 07/08/11 - 11:40 am
0
0
Soldout please! I get that

Soldout please! I get that you are very religious and that's fine but what you are saying here is ludicrous The man obviously had some underlying mental issues and did not seek help like he should've done. No demons...no devils....just one man and his screwed up mind caused this. That's all.

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