Originally created 01/25/02

6th suspect in teen's death continues to elude officials



Authorities in Edgefield and Richmond counties are seeking a sixth suspect in the slaying of a 16-year-old Augusta resident.

Alexander Louis Hunsberger, 23, will be charged with murder in the shooting death of Samuel James Sturrup Jr., according to Edgefield County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Roger Lowe.

Mr. Hunsberger is the younger brother of Julio Angel Hunsberger, 24, who was arrested Wednesday, Chief Deputy Lowe said. Julio Hunsberger is being held on kidnap ping and aggravated assault charges but also will be charged with murder, Chief Deputy Lowe said.

The younger Mr. Hunsberger was identified by a suspect who is cooperating with authorities.

Samuel's body was found in a rural area in Edgefield County in November with a bullet in his skull, police said. Authorities in Richmond County have charged two others with kidnapping and aggravated assault in the case - Richard Martes Cave, 19, and Antonio DeWayne Griffin, 18.

Richmond County Sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry said escort service owner Steven Louis Barnes, 23, and Charlene Thatcher, 18, also will be charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault of the teen-ager.

Today, officials in Edgefield County plan to charge all six suspects with murder in the slaying, Chief Lowe said.

On Thursday officials with both counties - including the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the State Law Enforcement Division - searched the Savannah River near the Fifth Street bridge for two guns allegedly used in the killing.

Authorities say the younger Mr. Hunsberger is hispanic, 5-feet, 9-inches tall and 140 pounds. He could be in the Hephzibah area. Anyone with information about Mr. Hunsberger or the crime is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at 821-1080 or Edgefield County Sheriff's Office at (803) 637-5337.

Reach Albert Ross at (706) 823-3339 or albert.ross@augustachronicle.com.