UPDATE | Police arrest man in connection to murder of Edgefield couple

Published: Oct. 10, 2016 at 11:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The 11th Circuit Solicitor's Office in Edgefield said the man accused in the October murder of a husband and wife is not expected to have a hearing of any kind until the April term of court.

Dameion Edwin Thomas, 36, was arrested in October on two counts of murder in the deaths of Charles and Andrea Deas.

Friday, Dec. 16, 2016

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A man has been arrested in connection to the October murder of an Edgefield couple.

Edgefield County Sheriff's Office investigators arrested Dameion Edwin Thomas, 36, of Aiken on two counts of murder in the deaths of Charles and Andrea Deas.

The incident happened on October 9, 2016, and both victims were found deceased following a fire at their Marigold Street home.

Thomas is currently being held at the Edgefield County Detention Center awaiting an appearance in court for a bond hearing.

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The family and loved ones of the Edgefield couple found dead in their home are set to gather Friday.

Family of Charles and Andrea Deas will greet friends on Friday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Hatcher Funeral Home & Cremation Service on Jefferson Davis Highway in Graniteville.

A Celebration of Life Service is set for Saturday, Oct.15, at 2 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church in Aiken with Pastor Brancie Stephens officiating. Interment, with Veterans Honors performed by a United States Army Honor Guard, will follow in Langley Cemetery, Langley, SC. Pallbearers will be Timothy Deas, Nicholas Deas, Pat Heneghan, Lucky Gray, John Skipper, Michael Daniels and Monty Bates, according to Hatcher Funeral Home.

The family has requested that all in attendance be in casual attire.

It has been requested by the family, that if so desired, memorials be made to the Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare,

due to Buddy and Andie's love for animals.

News 12 NBC 26 News at 11 O'Clock | Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The family and friends of Charles and Andrea Deas are still waiting for answers after the couple are found dead. There are still no suspects and no arrests a day after the Edgefield County couple died from gunshot wounds before a fire destroyed their home.

Andrea's father, like many, are still in shock.

"He was good for my daughter, my daughter loved him to death and he loved my daughter," says Jimmy Sanford, the father of Andrea Deas. "So that's all that mattered."

A few pictures a walk around an empty trailer are a few of the lasting memories Jimmy has of his daughter and her husband, Charles. The two were found dead inside their burned-out home with gunshot wounds earlier this week.

All he can do now is remember the good times the family of five spent together at Andrea's childhood home in Saluda. But he says he'll never forget the moment he received the call that would change the lives of all who knew them.

"I get a call and they tell me to call my wife, it's an emergency and I call my wife and my wife didn't answer the phone, the coroner answered the phone," Sanford says. "And the coroner was here with my wife and he had told her that Andy had passed away."

The couple were found dead inside their Edgefield County home Sunday evening around 6:40 p.m. from gunshot wounds. Their home was also set on fire the same night.

But Sanford says they lived a full life before Sunday night. Everyone who called Andrea and Charles Deas friends knew them as Andy and Buddy.

They met four years ago while working at nearby Amick Farms after living in the same town almost all their lives. Andy, who would have turned 26 next week, was an operator while Buddy, in his early thirties, was a mechanic. While they didn't know it at the time, their worlds would soon come together.

Two years later they'd be married with everyone, including Sanford, there for the best moment of their lives so far. The young couple, on the verge of celebrating their second wedding anniversary, shared plenty of laughs and memories with folks across their area for years.

Sanford says Andy loved being the leader, no matter the task. She lead her marching band in high school and helped with local Special Olympics events during her time in school.

He says she always thought she was right, leading to several arguments between the two over the years. But at the end of the day, they would always end their conversation with a quick "I love you."

As for Charles, Sanford says he was a naturally quick-learner thanks to his time at Amick. He says he never missed a day of work in his life and used that learning ability to make sure Andrea was always taken care of at the house.

But he says the two had plenty of great moments waiting ahead of them, including two big projects they'd been working on for the past few months.

"They were remodeling their house," Sanford says, "and once they got the house remodeled, they're was going to start trying to have kids, raise a family. That's what the first priority was, was getting the house stable and remodeled. They were doing it from the ground up."

That ground is now scorched and answers as to why they were murdered are still nowhere to be found.

Sanford says the pain will be with his family for a long time.

He says the worst part is still not knowing who took the lives of a couple with so much life left to live.

"I'm more mad and upset than I am hurt but that's going to come later until we catch him or them or whoever did this," Sanford says. "Then I'm going to be mad and it's not a good thing, it's not a good feeling."

Sanford says there are no plans for a funeral at this time, but they could starting making those plans as early as Thursday.

Deputies with the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office are working with SLED agents to piece together what could have lead to those gunshots inside the home on Merigold Street. Investigators are still looking into leads, but no arrests have been made and a suspect is not in custody.

If you have any information, call the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office at (803) 637-5337. Callers with any information on the case can remain anonymous.

News 12 at 11o'clock / October 11, 2016

EDGEFIELD, SC. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's normally a quiet neighborhood on Marigold Street where everyone keeps to themselves. But that changed on Sunday when one home went up in flames.

"It was a blaze. You could see the flames shooting up in the sky," said neighbor, George Abney.

Abney has lived in this neighborhood for 25 years.

"I was shocked," said Abney.

The Edgefield Fire Department got to the scene just after 6:30pm. They later found two bodies in the home.

"I was hoping nobody was home," said Abney.

The two have been identified as Charles and Andrea Deas, who neighbors said, had moved to the neighborhood within the last year.

"After half hour, the whole street was filled with fire trucks and police cars, and so I kind of figured something tragic had happened," said Abney.

But what no one expected was finding out the two had died of gunshot wounds, turning a fatal fire into a murder investigation. Investigators returned to the scene earlier today and left with bags of evidence. They also took a gray Hyundai Sonata to the Sheriff's Office Impound.

"At the end of the day, after they had got the fire under control, they went in, and they found the two bodies," said Abney.

A shock that many neighbors said, they didn't expect.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Edgefield County deputies are following leads after an autopsy revealed two people found in a burning home were shot.

David Burnett, Chief Deputy Coroner for Edgefield County, identified the victims as Charles Deas and Andrea Deas.

Burnett said both died after being shot.

The Edgefield County Sheriff's Office said they are not investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

The couple was pulled from a home on Marigold Street in Edgefield.

Firefighters were called to the home for a house fire around 6:40 p.m. Sunday.

Deputies say they are following leads in the death investigation. They have not release any names of possible suspects yet.

If you have any information, call the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office at (803) 637-5337.

Monday, Oct. 10, 2016

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Two people have died in a house fire on Marigold Street in Edgefield.

According to Edgefield County Chief Deputy Coroner David Burnett, the call was received around 6:40 p.m. Sunday. The two bodies found inside the home are believed to be one male and one female.

More details on the victims will be released after an autopsy is performed on Tuesday. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

Criminal History: Dameion Thomas

- Some traffic violations/citations

- Edgefield County: Financial card transaction fraud (10/26/2016)