Prosecution calls double murder outside Myrtle Beach business a ‘planned ambush’

Darius Hemingway and Antonio Woods were killed and five others were injured in the shooting
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:31 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 6:22 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A jury trial begins Tuesday for two men charged in the Oct. 2020 fatal shootings at Allen’s Food Basket in Myrtle Beach.

Darius Hemingway and Antonio Woods were killed and five others were injured in the shooting.

Samuel Alexander Frye, 23, and Mardave Hunter, 27, are each charged with two counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder and assault of a high and aggravated nature.

Frye was also charged with accessory after the fact of murder.

A Myrtle Beach police detective said a vehicle registered to Frye was at the scene of the shooting. Frye subsequently tried to report the vehicle stolen to his insurance company after the incident and later sold it, the detective added. Police later took possession of the vehicle.

According to authorities, Frye was on active duty at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter at the time of the deadly shooting.

Hunter was found and arrested in New Jersey with help from the U.S. Marshal’s Service, MBPD said.

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On the first day of the trial, prosecutors and the defense quickly picked the 12 members of the jury who would decide Frye and Hunter’s guilt.

During opening statements, the prosecution told jurors that the victims were playing poker at Allen’s Food Basket when the shooting took place. He said it was a “planned ambush” that resulted in the death of two men.

“All of a sudden with no warning whatsoever, a group of people bull rushed through the door, hit the doorman on the head and ran back to the back. There was nothing to indicate it was happening, hardly a word was said. All of a sudden they open fire,” said Assistant Solicitor Jim Stanko.

The prosecutor added that police were able to track down the suspects thanks to license plate readers and cell tower data.

Meanwhile, on the defense side, Frye’s attorney said his client didn’t have a gun and didn’t step foot into Allen’s Food Basket.

The last person to take the stand on Tuesday was Tyrese Lighty, who had also been arrested in the case and faced several charges including murder and attempted murder. Lighty has since plead guilty to manslaughter, according to Stanko.

Lighty said that at first he didn’t tell police the truth about what happened that night because he was scared for his life, but he said on the stand that he’s now coming forward because he has nothing to hide.

“Did you start shooting as well?” Stanko asked.

“Yes sir, I started shooting after shots came at me,” said Lighty.

“And what happened next?” questioned Stanko.

“I got shot,” Lighty responded.

Stanko said that Lighty could face 10 to 30 years in prison after coming forward.

A fourth suspect in the case, Lonnell Damon Duckett, Jr., was also arrested and is charged with eight counts of accessory after the fact to felony or murder.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.