LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - A 28-year-old Lancaster man is accused of fatally stabbing his great-grandmother during a dispute over money, deputies say.
According to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to the 900 block of Grace Avenue around 8:40 pm Sunday night.
When deputies arrived they spoke with family members who told them 87-year-old Verdie E. Mackey was found her dead inside the home and appeared to have been stabbed to death.
"We were all standing out and they had the crime scene tape put up and my husband Robert kept saying something's wrong something's wrong with Mrs. Mackey," said neighbor Barbara Spencer. "They said she's gone, her son had found her, her bed room was tore up the safe had been pulled out."
Investigators quickly identified Mackey's great-grandson, 28-year-old William Richard Greene, of Lancaster, as a potential suspect.
"We found some things missing from the residence, the house was ransacked some," said Sheriff Barry Faile.
Greene was located a short time later and taken into custody.
"Once we brought him in it was pretty obvious he was the one that did it," said Faile.
Deputies believe Greene went to Mackey's home in an attempt to get money. When Mackey refused, Greene became angry and stabbed her to death.
"We are shocked and saddened by the brutality of this crime," Sheriff Barry Faile said. "Our condolences go to Mrs. Mackey's family. We are however thankful that we could bring this investigation to a close so quickly and get Greene in jail where he belongs."
Faile doesn't know for sure if Greene has a drug problem, but he knows from experience that most violent crimes of this nature stem from drug use.
"A guy going in and robbing his grandmother, someone that was really well thought of in the community, and did a lot for her family, for someone to go in and do that certainly has an abuse problem," said Faile.
Spencer says for a woman that kept to herself and helped most anyone in need, she's trying to make head or tails of this tragedy.
"Why do these kids think she has money knowing she lives on a fixed income? Bless her heart," said Spencer.
Greene has been charged with Murder and Possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
The Sheriff says Greene had never been arrested in Lancaster County. A South Carolina judicial records check shows he's only had a few traffic tickets the last of which was in Darlington County in 2009.
He is incarcerated at the Lancaster County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.