Authorities arrest suspect in Kingstree double homicide

By Alan Campbell, email

KINGSTREE, SC (WCSC) - Two sisters are dead following a brutal murder in Williamsburg County.

According to authorities, Williamsburg deputies arrested 32-year-old Joseph Jermaine Brand in connection with Monday afternoon's double homicide.

"Everybody is shocked and dismayed by what happened and it's just a terrible tragedy for everybody" Dan Duke said.

Deputies say the sisters were shot dead in their Kingstree home. Deputies responded to a 911 call at 1944 Sumter Hwy and when deputies arrived at the scene, they found the bodies of 65-year old Naomi Johnson and her sister, 73-year-old Thelma Haddock.

When Bernard Brand came over to get his son at Johnson's house, he found his neighbor laying on the floor. His home is less than 100 yards from Johnson's home.

"When I knocked on the door she never came out, but the door was cracked and open," Brand said. "So, I yelled out her name, 'Mrs Naomi this is Bernard I'm coming inside to let you know that my son's outside and I'm trying to get him out of your yard.'  She never responded, so the door was half way cracked so I pushed it open. That's when I saw her laying on the floor and I immediately just turned around and called 911."

The father said his son, Joseph Brand, lived with him next door to Johnson for the past two months.  Brand said his son suffers from a mental illness.

"He has a medical problem. He has a mental problem and sometimes he would go outside and wonder off, but he never went that far out," Brand said.

This is still an ongoing investigation, but people who knew Johnson say she will be missed.

"We certainly will miss her and she was well loved by everybody in the community," Duke said.

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