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Strickland Arraignment

Sabrina Strickland enters the courtroom to be arraigned on charges related to the shooting death of 46-year-old Robert McWaters.

Sabrina Michelle Strickland barely uttered a word as she appeared for her arraignment on a murder charge on Monday afternoon at the Orangeburg County Law Enforcement complex.

The 50-year-old is also facing the charge of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office investigators allege Strickland intentionally shot Robert McWaters in the head just before 9:30 p.m. Friday at their Target Road home in Holly Hill.

She says it was an accident, according to the sheriff’s office.

During Strickland’s arraignment, a sheriff’s office victim’s advocate told Magistrate Robert “Bob” Lake that McWaters’ family wants the court to know he “was a loving father, son and brother and loved by many.”

Nearly two dozen members of McWaters’ family attended the arraignment. They plan to attend Strickland’s future hearings, too, according to the victim’s advocate.

An incident report indicates Strickland and McWaters were in a relationship.

A Holly Hill police officer was the first to respond to a 911 call regarding a shooting at the residence.

The officer told sheriff’s deputies that when he went inside the residence, he found McWaters lying on the kitchen floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

When deputies went to speak with Strickland, they found her standing by the front porch. She was crying and talking with someone on her cellphone, according to the sheriff’s office incident report.

Deputies questioned her about what happened.

She alleged that McWaters was “coming at her and she accidentally shot him,” according to the incident report.

Deputies located a black handgun inside of a black holster on the kitchen counter.

Strickland’s arrest warrants allege she, “was armed with a firearm when she shot and killed the victim with malice aforethought.”

Deputies visited 773 Target Road in the past.

On May 8 at 12:11 a.m., Strickland called to report that she and McWaters were in the midst of a verbal dispute about “relationship issues and family problems.”

She told deputies that she wanted McWaters to leave.

A deputy explained the eviction process to Strickland

McWaters agreed to stay outside to avoid Strickland.

A deputy noted in an incident report that he, “did not see any injuries on both parties.”

Then on May 16, Strickland called deputies at 7:29 p.m. to report that she and McWaters had some issues the previous night.

Strickland told deputies that McWaters became “highly intoxicated” and would “wake her up wanting to talk about nothing in particular and when she told (McWaters) to stop he would verbally abuse and threaten her,” the incident report states.

She claimed that McWaters “would not allow her to sleep.”

Strickland claimed this behavior had been going on for a few weeks.

Deputies did not speak with McWaters during this particular visit to their home.

Strickland also told a deputy that every time “she gets the nerve to go to the magistrate’s office she allows (McWaters) to stop her.”

She stated “she cannot live like this anymore,” the incident report states.

She told the deputy that she wanted to file a report “so she can look into getting a restraining order against” McWaters.

According to the Orangeburg County Magistrate’s Office, there is no restraining order on McWaters or Strickland.

Strickland remains at the Orangeburg County Detention Center. She may request bond consideration before a circuit judge at a later date.

She does not yet have an attorney.

This story has been changed from its original form to correct the age of the defendant.

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Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD

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Staff Writer

Martha Rose Brown covers crime and other topics. The South Carolina native has been a journalist for the past 16 years.

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