Jury selection begins Tuesday in Columbus County Superior Court for the murder trial of Corey Tshombe Hines, charged in the 2017 shooting death of Elliot Dew.
Hines, 25, is charged with first degree murder in the case. Hines and Taquey Montez Newkirk, 31, were tracked down and arrested by U.S. Marshals after the death of Dew and the injury of Deron Dewitt Blanks.
Dew and Blanks were in the parking lot of the Happy Mart at Virgil Street and J.K. Powell when Hines and Newkirk allegedly opened fire on them around 11:25 p.m. Blanks was seriously injured but recovered. Multiple shell casings were found at the scene.
Whiteville Police said in a press release at the time that there was “information to indicate contraband and money was inside the victim’s vehicle.”
The shooting was considered in retaliation for a drive-by several days before, investigators said at the time. Hines and Newkirk were being sought for that incident when they were arrested at a Clarkton apartment complex. Edward Shipman was sitting in his vehicle at the complex when at least two gunmen opened fire, damaging multiple vehicles. No one was injured in that case.
Hines was originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, three counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property, two counts of Injury to personal property and one count of discharging a firearm in the city for the Sawmill case. He was placed under a $610,000 secured bond. The murder charges were added later, and bond was denied.
Newkirk was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, three counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property, two counts of injury to personal property and one count of discharging a firearm in the city. He is being held without bond pending a first appearance. He is still awaiting trial.
Blanks, 36, was later arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, two counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property, two of injury to personal property and one charge of discharging a firearm in the city limits. Bond was set at $425,000.
The Dew killing was just one of a string of deaths in an unusually violent year in the city.
The murder was the fourth in Whiteville in 2017. Sincere Mullet, age 17, died after he drove through a hail of gunfire near the U.S. 74-76 overpass. His vehicle drove up an embankment and across the county fitness park. It was later discovered in a in an overgrown ditch. A small child in the vehicle was not injured. A passerby on the fitness trail found the vehicle when he began following tire tracks.
Bobby Lee Johnson was shot multiple times at Sandy Ridge Apartments later that month.
Juwarn Young died after his car was struck by at least 25 rounds on Thompson Street. Young and his brother were identified as the targets in what was described as a “running gun battle” that ended on J.K. Powell.