Authorities make third arrest in student's murder

Hillard D. Pinkney and Ray Anthony Alston, Jr.
Hillard D. Pinkney and Ray Anthony Alston, Jr.

ORANGEBURG, SC (WCSC) - Authorities say they have arrested another person in connection to the shooting death of a South Carolina State University student.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division charged Hillard D. Pinkney of Holly Hill Wednesday with accessory after the fact of the murder.

Authorities have already arrested two people in the shooting death of South Carolina State University student Jonathan Bailey and determined the killing happened after a dispute during an on-campus drug deal.

SLED arrested 22-year-old Ray Anthony Alston, Jr., of North Charleston, and charged him with murder. An arrest warrant for Alston was served Saturday in Charleston County.

A 16-year-old male from Holly Hill is also charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. The juvenile suspect turned himself in to SLED agents in Orangeburg County Tuesday afternoon.

According to SLED arrest warrants, Alston and the teen are accused of meeting the victim, on the SC State campus on April 15 for a pre-arranged drug transaction. After a brief discussion, the victim tried to escape from Alston and the teen, and was shot in the chest.

Bailey later died as a result of the shooting.

Investigators say fingerprints, phone records, witness statements and ballistics tests led them to the suspects. SLED says more arrests are expected. It wasn't immediately clear if Alston had an attorney.

The SCSU Police Department is assisting SLED with this investigation. SLED said that more arrests are expected.

Alston is being held at the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center. The juvenile will be housed at the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.

The university released the following statement:

"We will continue to pray for and to support the Bailey family during this tumultuous time, and we will continue our efforts in this ongoing investigation. This tragedy, however, is an isolated incident for SC State University. The University Police Department has implemented safety measures for the students on this campus, and we are currently working on additional initiatives to ensure that our campus community is well guarded."

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