Lexington, SC - Robert Dumon Johnson, age 36, of Gaston, pled guilty earlier today to the 2016 murders of Brenda Posey and Harry Smith in Lexington County. The Honorable Eugene C. Griffith, Jr. sentenced Johnson to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated, “I’d like to commend the hard work of Deputy Solicitor Shawn Graham and also thank law enforcement for their tireless efforts in this investigation, including SLED, the U.S. Marshalls Service, the Florence Police Department, the Lexington County Fire Department, and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.”
On May 26, 2016, shortly after midnight, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department responded to 269 Cedarcrest Drive in Lexington County for a house fire. Firefighters discovered the burnt bodies of Brenda Posey and Harry Smith in the master bedroom of their home. A SLED Arson Investigator determined that the fire was intentionally set and likely started by a match or lighter. The arson investigation determined the fire originated around the bedroom area where the victims were located. Debris from the fire was positive for gasoline and a gas can was found abandoned on the living room floor.
In a statement to law enforcement, Johnson claimed the murders occurred after he was hired to do yard work for the couple and a dispute arose regarding payment. Posey and Smith were stabbed multiple times and ultimately bled to death. Autopsies revealed that both victims were deceased before they were burned in the fire. A forensic pathologist determined there was no soot in the airways of the victims. Johnson admitted setting the fire after the victims were deceased.
Following the murders, Johnson fled to Florence County, South Carolina, where he had relatives. Johnson was located in Florence with the assistance of the United States Marshalls Service and the Florence Police Department. The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department arrested Johnson on May 29, 2016.
Eleventh Circuit Deputy Solicitor Shawn Graham commented, “This was a tragic case. We are pleased that justice was served today and that Johnson can never harm another member of our community. Many law enforcement agencies worked together to resolve this case and we appreciate all agencies involved.”