Man sentenced to 55 years for double murder in Berkeley County

Man sentenced to 55 years for double murder in Berkeley County
Published: Aug. 11, 2014 at 2:40 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2015 at 9:18 PM EDT
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The bodies of Dana Woods and June Guerry were found in the Francis Marion Forest in August,...
The bodies of Dana Woods and June Guerry were found in the Francis Marion Forest in August, 2012. (Source: BCSO)

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - A man was sentenced to 55 years in prison for robbing and killing two women in Berkeley County in 2012.

Caleb Matlock entered a plea of guilty on Monday for the murders of 22-year-old June Guerry and 18-year-old Dana Woods.

The plea by the 25-year-old Summerville man came just before the jury was supposed to be picked for his trial.

Matlock received a concurrent sentence of 55 years for Woods and Guerry's murders, and must serve 85% of his sentence. Matlock was also found guilty of armed robbery, arson and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

Matlock's attorney said the prosecution had enough evidence for a conviction, however Matlock did not get the maximum sentence of life in prison.

Matlock's cousin, Arthur Chavis also is charged but is not on trial this week. It was revealed in court that Chavis was going to testify against Matlock had the trial gone on. No trial date has been set for Chavis.

According to prosecutors, Matlock admitted he shot and killed Guerry and Woods execution style in August of 2012.

Matlock said during Monday's court hearing that he was sorry for what he did and he was "living in hell."

"I don't know why you killed my sister," said Guerry's sister. "We babysat you and you can't tell us why you killed our sister."

Guerry's father, Charles Britt, also spoke in court and said Guerry had turned her life around, and he had no clue why Matlock killed his daughter and dumped her in a pit.

Britt said life in prison for Matlock was nothing and said,"He should be hung."

Woods' mother, Jennifer Hill, said she was at the hospital when Guerry was born, and felt like she lost two daughters in the incident.

"I want you to look at me Caleb Matlock," Hill told Matlock during Monday's hearing."Please I want him to take one last look at her face because this is the only chance I get to say whatever I have to say. Look. You took my innocent child from me."

Both women's bodies and Woods' burned car were found in the Francis Marion Forest in the Cordesville area of Berkeley County. Investigators say before the murders Woods called her mother and said she and Guerry we're giving someone a ride.

They were never heard from again.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said the whole incident started when Matlock planned a robbery in order to get funds to enhance his car.

Wilson says Matlock then planned to steal Woods' car. According to Wilson, Matlock stole one of the victims' wallets then executed Guerry and Woods by shooting them in the back of their heads.

Wilson said Matlock confessed to the murders and robbery of the victims, and was also found with the murder weapon when he was arrested.

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