Friends, family of murdered couple in St. Maarten for trial

ST. MAARTEN (WCSC) - A trial is expected to begin on Tuesday for three men accused of killing a Mount Pleasant couple inside their Caribbean condo.

Friends and relatives of Mike and Thelma King are in St. Maarten this week as the men accused of killing the couple go on trial.

The Kings lived the high life splitting their time between their home-state of South Carolina and the island of St. Maarten. It all came to an end last fall, when Mike and Thelma king were found brutally murdered inside their Caribbean home.

Three suspects have been in a St. Maarten jail since last fall awaiting their day in court. St. Maarten investigators say the three masterminded the murders of the married couple.

The self-made, wealthy entrepreneurs with ties to Mt. Pleasant and the Upstate, were found brutally stabbed to death inside their St. Maarten home last September.

Just days after, police on the island arrested three suspects.

According to prosecutors, the motive for the crime was robbery even though the suspects took nothing of value from the home.

Before the murders, the Kings invested in a rum distillery in St. Maarten with friends and island restaurant owner Topper Daboul. Daboul's wife, Melanie Topper, found the Kings' bodies after not hearing from them.

"Unfortunately, I had the sad experience of looking for him and finding what had happened," Topper Daboul said.

In memory of the Kings, their family and the Dabouls moved forward with the company.

Live 5's Keke Collins will be inside the courtroom when the three men accused of the crime stand trial in St. Maarten.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.