Brother and sister get 37 years for murder of man whose body was found tied up in river
GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - A Georgetown brother and sister were sentenced to 37 years for the murder of a man whose tied up body was found in a river.
Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson announced that a jury convicted 37-year-old Tiesh Annette Rhue and 38-year-old Alexander Rhue, Jr. for the murder of 32-year-old Leon Harrison Jr. whose body was found in the Black River.
Additionally, the jury found the sibling’s father, 61-year-old Alexander Rhue Sr., guilty of obstruction of justice. He also was acquitted on a murder charge. Rhue Sr. was sentenced to eight years on the obstruction of justice charge, suspended to the time he already served in jail of 549 days followed by three years on probation.
The three were also charged with desecration of human remains, but were found not guilty on those charges. Prosecutors also dismissed conspiracy and accessory charges for the three.
The trial began on Oct. 11 and lasted eight days with the jury deliberating for over five hours before they reached a verdict on Wednesday evening.
Harrison had been missing since Feb. 25, 2017, then the following month his remains were seen floating in the Black River by a homeowner. According to prosecutors, Harrison’s body was tightly bound at the hands and feet by multiple loops of speaker wire and was identified by a tattoo on his arm.
“Due to the condition of the body, a cause of death could not be determined,” the solicitor’s office said.
An investigation revealed that Harrison and Tiesh Rhue had marital problems and argued the night of March 25, 2017. Officers reported discovering two sections of carpeting that had been cut from the floor of the bedroom that Harrison and Tiesh Rhue sometimes shared.
“Blood was found on the carpet padding and had soaked into the sub-floor,” prosecutors said. “DNA analysis matched the blood to Harrison.”
Additionally, prosecutors said Alexander Rhue, Jr. and Alexander Rhue, Sr. were captured on video surveillance at Walmart purchasing two bottles of hydrogen peroxide at 1 a.m.
“Cell phone records and the new technology of Google geo-fencing revealed that all three of the Rhues turned off their cell phones around 2 a.m. that night,” officials with the solicitor’s office said. “The defendants gave false information to law enforcement and attempted to conceal evidence in the case.”
“This was a complex and lengthy case. The jury patiently listened to hours of video interviews and multiple witnesses providing very technical testimony. The State and the victim’s family are grateful for their attention and diligent performance of their civic duty,” Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.
“It is my hope that these verdicts will provide some measure of closure for the loved ones of Leon Harrison, Jr. including his two children, father, and brothers,” said Assistant Solicitor Liz Smith.
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