A man murdered three relatives in South Carolina and nearly killed an 8-year-old. But one of the victims left a clue that helped police nab the killer.
Now, the murderer will spend the rest of his behind bars.
This month, a judge in South Carolina sentenced Jeffrey Powell, 37, to three life sentences without parole plus 30 years. He pleaded guilty in connection to three murders and one count of attempted murder.
Powell murdered his relatives, 56-year-old Randy Perkins, 30-year-old Megan Dinkins and 11-year-old Shay Dinkins.
On Aug. 2, 2021, deputies from the Green County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina were sent to a home for a report of four people being shot, according to WISTV. When police arrived, they found the three people dead, and 8-year-old was also shot.
The child went to a neighbor’s house to call 911 after hiding in the bathroom for hours, according to WISTV.
Megan Dinkins had also written the letter “J” on her bedroom wall in blood before she died, according to reports.
Powell fled after the killings and took a plane to Florida. He paid for it using stolen money from the victim’s mobile phone apps, according to WISTV. He was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida.
There has never been a clear motive for the killings, according to reports, but police speculated that Powell was being kicked out of the house.
During his sentencing, Powell cried as family members spoke, the Associated Pressnoted. Powell tried to speak during the hearing, only being able to say, “I’m so sorry,” before crying again.
Relative Wanda Perkins Knowles said Randy was a man of integrity, humor and love, the AP reported.
“He let him live inside his house. He fed him. I don’t understand,” Knowles said, according to the AP.
Prosecutors told media outlets they considered seeking the death penalty in the case. But South Carolina hasn’t performed a decade in more than a decade because of a lack of chemicals. Prosecutors also wanted to spare the survivor from testifying.