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Woman accused of shooting, killing man
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Woman accused of shooting, killing man

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Warrants accuse a 20-year-old woman of luring a man to a North home “under the guise of smoking drugs with her” before she allegedly used a handgun to shoot him in his back.

Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested Ariel Luva Chavis of 510 Main St., North, on Thursday afternoon.

She’s accused of shooting and killing Jeremy Howard Thomas, 27, of Meadowside Drive, Cope, in the early morning hours of July 2.

Warrants charge her with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

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Investigators also arrested James Christopher Robinson Jr., 20, of 3461 Neeses Highway, Orangeburg.

OCSO Maj. Rene Williams said investigators believe “Robinson was with Chavis at the time of the murder. When he left the scene, he allegedly fired at another person in a vehicle.”

That person was not injured.

Robinson is facing charges of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He is not facing charges in Thomas’s death.

According to the incident report, someone discovered Thomas’s body inside his white Chevrolet Avalanche truck in an area off Wesmoor Road in North on July 2.

Investigators developed information that an SUV followed Thomas’s truck at about 3 a.m. Loud gunshots rang out from the SUV, followed by the sound of a “loud crash” and another shot, according to the incident report.

Thomas was found slumped over the steering wheel of his truck, the report states. Deputies removed a 12-gauge shotgun from his lap.

At the time of Chavis’s arrest, she was out on bond pending three counts of receiving stolen goods valued at $2,000 or less and two counts of forgery valued at $10,000 or less. Those charges stem from a 2018 case.

Deputies arrested her on those charges this past November.

On July 6, OCSO arrested her for allegedly driving with a suspended license (license not suspended for DUI).

Robinson does not have a criminal record.

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If Chavis is convicted, she could face up to life in prison.

If Robinson is convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Williams said the case remains under investigation and more arrests and charges may be forthcoming.

If anyone has information about this case, they are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Callers don’t have to give their names.  

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

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