A South Carolina man was killed six days after his second child was born. Now his killer will never walk free again.
This month, a judge in Horry County, South Carolina, sentenced Darrell Land, 34, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the shooting death of Arnold Jamal Bennett, 36. Land was found guilty and convicted by a jury of murder with malice aforethought and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
On Aug. 4, 2019, witnesses last saw Bennett, who testified the victim had been running away from his vehicle on Livingston Circle in Little River, South Carolina. Three days later, family members and friends reported Bennett missing to the Myrtle Beach Police Department, and then to Horry County police on Aug. 13, 2019.
At the end of the month, two North Myrtle Beach city workers found human remains off of Sandridge Road in Little River.
“This was a complicated case involving multiple police departments. Both the Myrtle Beach Police Department which took the initial missing person report and the Horry County Police Department, which took over the investigation did an outstanding job. Special thanks to Detective Ken Marcus for his perseverance in ensuring justice for Mr. Bennett,” said Senior Assistant Solicitor Mary-Ellen Walter, according to the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
An autopsy report established Bennett had been shot twice in the head, which was determined as the cause of death.
Later, investigators recovered digital evidence, multiple witness statements, and physical and forensic evidence placing Land at the murder scene which was just seven minutes from where his 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche was located.
The motive for the killing remains unclear, and a source of frustration for the family after the defendant was arrested.
Bennett’s girlfriend, Sierra Fugate, was distraught after finding out Bennett was killed six days after she gave birth to their son.
“Why? Why would you kill him? Why would you do this to him? What was your reason to do this to him?,” said Fugate, according to local media.