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Georgetown County murder suspect extradited from Tenn.

Eric Wade Hempel
Eric Wade Hempel(Source: Georgetown County Detention Center)
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 10:14 AM EDT
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A murder suspect is back in Georgetown County after being extradited from Tennessee.

Booking records show 22-year-old Eric Wade Hempel was booked into the Georgetown County Detention Center Thursday night. He is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Hempel, who was arrested after a reported high-speed chase in Tennessee, is one of two suspects accused in the death of 35-year-old Harry Barkley.

Barkley, of Kingstree, was reported missing last August by family members. Investigators from Georgetown and Williamsburg counties worked together on the case before Barkley’s car was found a month later at the Black River at Chavis Landing.

In May 2021, human remains were found in a remote area in Williamsburg County. DNA evidence later confirmed the remains to be those of Barkley.

The other suspect in the case, 22-year-old Shelby Francis Makaley Ashby, was previously arrested and is charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Deputies allege Ashby helped Hempel move and dispose of Barkley’s remains after his death.

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