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Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Files Murder Charge against Swansea, SC Man in Homicide Investigation

(Walhalla, SC)--------------------------------------Based upon evidence obtained in an ongoing investigation into a recent homicide on Hobson Street near Westminster, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office has obtained an arrest warrant charging a Swansea, SC man with Murder.

The Sheriff’s Office has also obtained arrest warrants against the same suspect on charges of Attempted Murder and First Degree Burglary in relation to a separate shooting incident on Mormon Church Road near Seneca.

34 year old Phillip Ronald Miller, of Cedar Creek Road, is currently being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center on charges obtained by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Both incidents occurred on the same day, Monday, August 23rd, 2021. In regards to the Murder charge related to the Hobson Street incident that was reported that day around 6:22pm, Miller is accused in an arrest warrant of shooting the victim, Michael Rodney Johnson, in the head and arm.

In relation to the incident on Mormon Church Road that was reported that day at 4:53pm, Miller is charged with breaking into a residence without consent and with the intent to commit a crime therein. Miller is charged with entering the residence with the alleged shooter, 39 year old Darrell Earl Maxwell, Jr. of Seneca, and assisting him with leaving the scene of the crime.

Maxwell, Jr. was arrested on August 24th in regards to the Mormon Church Road incident on charges of Attempted Murder, First Degree Burglary, Petit Larceny and Possession of a Weapon during Commission of a Violent Crime. Maxwell, Jr. was also served an arrest warrant, at that time, on a charge of Distribution of Heroin in relation to a separate investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office is also announcing today that Murder charges have been dismissed against 37 year old Carrie Leigh Tyner (Radford) of Westminster in relation to the homicide on Hobson Street. During the course of the investigation, evidence was obtained that a white female, identified as Tyner, was seen running away from the crime scene after the initial reports of shots fired were received by dispatch on the evening of Monday, August 23rd.

Based upon the evidence obtained, an arrest warrant charging Tyner with Murder was obtained based on probable cause. As the investigation continued, additional evidence was obtained by investigators that enabled the Murder charge to be dismissed against Tyner.

While the investigation determined she was present during the murder, no evidence exists at this point to show Tyner was an active participant in the shooting. Based on new information in the case, investigators determined Miller to be responsible for the death.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation.

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