86-year-old Upstate man accused of stabbing 2 women to death

Nicholas Bonelli (Photo: www.wyff.com)
Nicholas Bonelli (Photo: www.wyff.com)

OCONEE COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - Oconee County sheriff's deputies said two women were found stabbed to death in a home on Smith Farm Road in Westminster late Friday afternoon.

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis identified the victims as Clarine Smith, 82, and Smith's great-niece, Sandra Smith Myers, 63, of Seneca.  Smith lived at the home on Smith Farm Road.

Addis says Myers was visiting Smith when they were killed.

Autopsies Sunday revealed that Smith died of blunt force injuries to the head, and Myers died of a stab wound to the chest.

Investigators said 82-year-old Nicholas Bonelli, who lived with Smith, was also found at the home.  Deputies said Bonelli had cuts and stab wounds that appeared to be self-inflicted.

Oconee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Travis Tilson said Bonelli was flown to Greenville Memorial Hospital on Friday.

Detectives said Bonelli was charged with two counts of murder on Saturday. He was taken to the Oconee County Detention Center.

Investigators said a relative alerted them to what happened.

"Another family member called 911 once he arrived here and found the situation and what appeared to be in progress at the time," Tilson said.

Bonelli appeared before a magistrate judge Monday morning for the first time since his arrest.  Bonelli was helped into the court by authorities, and when asked if he knew why he was in court, he responded, "No."

Faye Carroll, who was friends with both women and Bonelli, said she is shocked by what happened.

"It just totally blows my mind that he did this," she said.

She talked about Sandra and said, "She had a beautiful smile, was a bouncy person and a very good friend. A very good friend."

Carroll said she had given Bonelli a ride to town last Thursday.

"On the way home, I don't remember how it came up, that part of the conversation just came back to me -- that he did not believe in hurting other people because you ended up hurting yourself," she said.

He said she never had any problems with Bonelli.

"He was always very polite," she said. "He was a gentleman around me."

Bonelli will remain in Detention Center and will appear for a bond hearing at a later date.

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