Man arrested for two murders in S.C., including 2021 Lancaster Christmas Day homicide

Lajohn Devarus Gaither, 36, of Lancaster was charged with murder and possession of a firearm
Lajohn Gaither mugshot
Lajohn Gaither mugshot(Lancaster Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 3:59 PM EDT
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LANCASTER, S.C. (WBTV) - A suspect in connection with two murders in South Carolina, including one that took place on Christmas Day in 2021, was arrested.

Lajohn Devarus Gaither, 36, of Lancaster was charged with murder and possession of a firearm for a homicide that took place in Spartanburg County, and the fatal shooting of 41-year-old Marico Stevens in Lancaster.

On Dec. 25 around 7:30 a.m., Lancaster Police found Stevens slumped over in the driver’s seat of his black 2008 Chrysler next to his front porch on East Dunlap Street. He had multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead.

Lancaster County Multijurisdictional Violent Crime Task Force has been investigating the case since, and Gaither was developed as a suspect early on.

Earlier this week, enough evidence was found to charge Gaither with the homicide. At the beginning of April, the task force was contacted by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office for assistance with another homicide. In that case, a male victim was reported missing leaving a nightclub on April 10, and was found dead a few days later. Gaither was also a suspect in this case and law enforcement obtained warrants for his arrest.

On April 19, agents of the U.S. Marshals Service and the State Law Enforcement Division located Gaither at a home on North Cleveland Street in Kershaw, S.C. He was arrested without incident for the Spartanburg County warrants. He was transferred and remains at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.

On Monday, warrants for the Christmas Day murder were obtained and entered as a detainer for the Spartanburg County case.

“This arrest is a testament to the hard work of the Lancaster County Multijurisdictional Violent Crime Task Force,” Lancaster PD acting chief Brian Small said. “These investigators refused to give up and followed up on every lead they received. I do hope this arrest helps the family of Mr. Stevens begin to heal.”

Lancaster sheriff Barry Faille added that the importance of partnerships between the law enforcement agencies helped with Gaither’s arrest.

“Although this case was never cold, some time has passed since it occurred. Investigators with the Task Force from the city and the county continued turning over rocks until we had enough to charge Gaither,” said Sheriff Faile. “When Spartanburg County called us for help, we learned additional information that furthered the investigation of our case. Everybody including the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, the Lancaster Police Department, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, the Marshalls Service, and SLED worked together to track down Gaither and put him into jail for two violent murders.”

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