Demario Covington, 32, of 418 Fourth Ave., Bennettsville, was arrested on Wednesday night for his alleged role in the slaying of Wayne Simmons, Jr., according to several media reports. Also arrested was 29-year-old Derrick Grace, of 409 Fourth Ave., Bennettsville.
Covington is charged with accessory to murder before and and the fact and conspiracy. Grace is charged with murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and conspiracy.
Simmons was found shot to death at 401 Third Avenue in Bennettsville on Dec. 21, 2008, Bennettsville Detective Larry Bowman told The Laurinburg Exchange earlier this year. Simmons. was a 27-year-old father of three. His body was found and reported to police by his father, Wayne "Wolf" Simmons, Sr.
Police told WBTW that the local drug trade was a factor in the fatal shooting, but was not the main cause.
The hospital shooting happened Feb. 15.
Simmons pretended to be a family member of 31-year-old Domario Covington to gain access to his hospital room where he then shot Covington two or three times and then attempted to shoot Covington's girlfriend, Jessica Gillespie, according to police. Covington fled out the front of the hospital from Simmons while the alleged shooter ran out a side door of the hospital. Simmons was arrested in the parking lot.
Covington was being treated after he was cut during a fight at the Ellison Club.
Simmons is being held at Central Prison in Raleigh under $190,000 secured bon on charges of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and discharging a firearm within city limits.
Grace and Covington are being held at the Marlboro County jail awaiting bond hearings. Police say both men have lengthy criminal records involving violence and drugs.