Originally created 07/11/01

Man charged with stabbing of 83-year-old



BAMBERG, S.C. - A Bamberg native who did yardwork around the community confessed to brutally stabbing and burglarizing an 83-year-old woman, authorities said Tuesday.

Anthony Christopher Washington, 28, was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree burglary Tuesday afternoon, said 2nd Circuit Solicitor Barbara R. Morgan. He is being held without bond in the Bamberg County Detention Center.

Sarah Carter Brown was found stabbed to death in her spacious, three-story residence Friday evening. The door was unlocked, and drawers inside the home had been pulled open, Bamberg Police Chief George Morris said.

Mrs. Morgan said State Law Enforcement Division agents and Bamberg police acted quickly, following leads - including tips from residents of the small town.

"They've really worked together on this one," she said. "The community has helped in their response ... it's one of the benefits of a small town."

Mr. Washington had done yardwork around Mrs. Brown's neighborhood but officials would not confirm whether the two knew each other.

"It's Bamberg, though," Mrs. Morgan said. "Everybody knows everybody."

The solicitor said Mr. Washington was detained Monday on unrelated arrest warrants and questioned about Mrs. Brown's death. Authorities said they believe he acted alone. No weapon had been found Tuesday evening, the solicitor said.

"(Mr. Washington) has given a statement as to the extent of his involvement, which is fairly extensive," Mrs. Morgan said.

She said that the initial motive might have been robbery because a minimal amount of money was taken but that the intervening assault and slaying took priority at some point.

"It's a nightmare to have this type of murder. It's similar to a (Jessica) Carpenter - somebody murdered in their own home," the solicitor said. "It doesn't happen all the time ... that's the ultimate violation, being murdered in their home. She was a little old lady, supposed to be safe in her home."

Mrs. Brown, the daughter of former solicitor Bert E. Carter, had been a well-known figure in the community. Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at First Baptist Church in Bamberg. Burial will follow in South End Cemetery.

Reach Katie Throne at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.