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HALLSBORO, NC (WWAY) — Three Columbus County teenagers have been arrested and charged with murdering a Hallsboro man after deputies say they bragged to classmates at East Columbus High School.

Last month, Keith Gachette’s wife came home to find her husband dead, lying on the floor.
The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says they believe the three suspects staged a robbery after shooting Gachette in the head, but it was how deputies discovered this that is most shocking.

“They had bragged to some classmates about some of the issues that went on that led up to the shooting and from that point the information just kept coming in,” Sheriff Chris Batten said.

The three arrested Thursday were 18-year-old Tarrence Shakil Hazel, 16-year-old Kenneth Da’ Shawn Williams, and 16-year-old Marquice Alexander Antone, who Batten says is Gachette’s cousin. All three were charged with armed robbery and the murder of Gachette, who lived at 2035 Palmetto Bay Rd. in Hallsboro.

“He was just an exceptional person,” said Melissa Ray, Gachette’s neighbor. “I mean, you immediately liked him when you met him.”

“I think they probably went there with the intentions of robbing him, and there was probably a struggle the way it appeared in the home, and then at that point they overcame him and shot him,” Batten said.

Batten says two of the young men went to East Columbus High School. He says students who overheard them bragging told deputies, who then found three of Gachette’s guns in the suspects’ homes Thursday.

“It’s just an eerie feeling knowing that that happened so close to your house and it hadn’t been solved up until now,” Ray said.

Batten says the three have been transported to the New Hanover County Jail. Their bond was set at $100,000 for the armed robbery and no bond for the first-degree murder charge. Their next appearance in court is on June 6 in Columbus County.

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31 Comments on "Three Columbus Co. teens charged with murder after bragging to classmates"

2015 years 8 months ago

There’s talk about taking guns from innocent, law abiding citizens. To “susposadly” make our society “safer”. But where’s the talk about taking monsters, who shoot disabled veterns, and putting them where they belong, in an electric chair ?

Some court appointed hack, will suck up hundreds of thousands of dollars, of tax payer funds, from this. Then we will have to pay millions to give them 3 hots and a cot, for the next 20 years.

ken&quice love yall
2015 years 8 months ago

Man yall is really pissing me off with all this junk you talkin bout them boys…. This boys are like blood to me. Marquice is trouble most of the time but he a good dude man he just struggling god is trying to get to his heart but he is running and he is suffering because of it. he use to stay with me all the time and he had complete respect for ever body in my house and never steped out of bounds for no reason… And Kenneth is somebody that dnt stay in no trouble he was just following the wrong people at the wrong time I love both of thoses boys and I would help either one of them out with whatever they needed from money to a place to stay.

2015 years 8 months ago

You know it won’t be long before their old mammies are on WWAYTV3 moaning and groaning about how “Him’s a good boy, him’s didn’t no nuffinz, him’s a star afleet and play’s feetsballs, him’s was just turnin his life around, him’s an aspiring rapper” ha ha

2015 years 8 months ago

Guest 101, a rope and tree wow you are ignorant, and deserve this yourslef. They deserve to suffer the conseqences but you surely are not the one to pick or suggest them for anyone. Your mouth seems like it needs some superglue to seal your lips together until you know how to open that hole of yours in an appropriate manner. They did wrong and while get fate regardless without “our’ iput.

2015 years 8 months ago

And by the time I dial 911, wait for the operator to answer, wait for her to contact the officer and wait for the officer to arrive, my family and I would be dead. If someone breaks into my home, I have the right to protect my family and myself.

Guest 101
2015 years 8 months ago


More deaths could be a good thing for society. I’d much rather see the three attackers dead than the victim. Very sad it didn’t go down like that. If you’re truely “defending yourself” as you say and an attacker / criminal dies that’s unfortunate, but one less scumbag society has to deal with.

You say “they killed out of desperation, not cold blood”….who gives a crap why they murdered that man, they admitted it. A quick trial, rope and nearest tree is about all they deserve.

Another piece of advice…. When seconds count the police are only minutes away!

The only thing lowbrows like these three idiots understand is pain and fear.

Arm yourselves and let’s start blasting some of these criminals on a regular basis, it’s time we the law-adbidding citizens take matters into our own hands. Protect youself, your family and your property I say.

2015 years 8 months ago

If you don’t want you your (LIKE A BROTHER TO ME) to be labeled an idiot then maybe he shouldn’t have been in the car with those thugs to begin with. You should have taught the Choir Boy to choose better company to run with..

2015 years 8 months ago

Frankly they are idiots. Dumb if you ask me. Whether he was in the car, garage, walking back and forth down the street to look out. He was at the scene of the crime knowing that they were going to at least start trouble. Maybe there intentions were to rob him, maybe it was to scare him. We don’t know. But!!!the fact is they all knew that they were going there for whatever reason they went. When the gentlemen got killed then they all were responisble because all were involved. regardless of who pulled the trigger, thats the way it is. Being in the car does’nt justify him as innocent. He knew why they were there. I always say this, but put yourself in the shoes of the family the man who was killed. Then you wouldn’t,”You should let the one in the car go because he was possibly the driver, but he wasn’t in here when it happened.” You would want everyone whatever their involvment. Its just sad that it had to take a turn the way it did. But my heart goes out to them, because their lives are over and their so young.

2015 years 8 months ago

Regardless of your relationship…he was an accomplice to the murder!! You are an idiot for defending this act!!!

speaking the truth"
2015 years 8 months ago

it don’t matter were he was ….in the car are the house he had a mind of his own.. he could had left …. the moral of the story is nun of them should had been there….at that man house ,and they should have been in school trying to lean something and be something to make the world a better place.well they right were they wanted be in jail doing nothing…..but that’s the choice that they made and thats what they got to live with….so all those comments ppl talking about they feel bad for them boys why u should be praying for them and most of all keiths family asking god to give them strength to heal there hearts and pray that someday they will be able to forgive them three boys for what they did…

2015 years 8 months ago

um do you know him? no! and you don’t know the whole story do you? NO! maybe he didn’t know what they was doing they been friends a while and i’m not this mom i can teach him much i can’t tell him what to do and i have told him he shouldn’t hang out with marquice but he did. i can help it and still he aint a idiot for being in the car.ok? ok.

2015 years 8 months ago

My point. he was in the car wrong place at wrong time prob didnt even no what was goin on at the time intill they came out or herd the shot sad doe that he has to go throu that i feel for him and will pray for him Ken

2015 years 8 months ago

I guess he was the get away driver…Just as guilty. Suck it up.

2015 years 8 months ago

A “mistake” is wearing a blue sock and a black sock, or buying whole milk when you meant to buy skim milk.

This was an intentional, deliberate act of violence by a group of thugs. The “wrong people” that you say they hung with were each other.

When are people going to stop making excuses for those who choose to break the law and endanger other people’s lives? Wake up. You could be next.

2015 years 8 months ago

People make mistakes. Im not making excuses or justifying what they did. But both Kenneth and Marquice were very smart and gifted in athletics. They juts got into the wrong things, hung with the wrong people! Im going to miss them both sooooo much :(

2015 years 8 months ago

Dats how we be rollin’ an’ keepin’ it realz.

2015 years 8 months ago

i wonder if they were wearing hoodies???

The Fixer
2015 years 8 months ago

If they are old enough to take someones life, they are old enough to have their ‘life taken away in jail’.

– Fixed That For You! (couldn’t agree more)

2015 years 8 months ago

LOL wow they killed out of desperation & NOT cold blood!!!! ohhhhhh that changes the whole matter. So since they “had” a reason & just werent out there doin it for sh-ts & giggles lets just kill em faster with a less painful tactic. I’d say maybe a 357 mag would do the trick perhaps televise it so to send a message to others out there that crimes like this wont go unanswered, sure we may have quite a bit of blood shed early on but if my thinking is correct the blood should thin out as time goes on , leaving us in a safer enviroment

2015 years 8 months ago

This is so sad for all families. When you are 16, you are considered an adult in the State of NC so it is allowed for pics to be posted. They will be tried like they are adults. I knew Keith and he was a great guy.

2015 years 8 months ago

– Theses Boys when to school with me,& I honestly believe theirs more to it then what it appears, theirs got to be! Like something involving Gang related or something!

& I don’t think you suppose to put up the 16 year olds picture up!!

Guest Redneck Across the River
2015 years 8 months ago

If they are old enough to take someones life, they are old enough to have their picture posted.

2015 years 8 months ago

You got to school? Learn to write properly then. The boys admitted to doing it – and someone turned them in. Pretty simple, huh?

Thanks to the ones that were willing to step up and tell. Now perhaps the family can get some type of justice.

And yes they can post the pictures – a 16 year old can be tried as an adult!

2015 years 8 months ago

Kassie, I would suggest that you head back to school and pay attention in your English grammar class. Your writing abilities are about a 1st grade level. Sad.

2015 years 8 months ago

So if your cousin came on your property you would shoot him?

Guest 101
2015 years 8 months ago

So very sad. My only advice to citizens is to arm yourselves, know how to use your weapon and do not hesitate if confronted by scum like this. Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6 I say.

I see 3 idiots like this on my property and I’m shooting first and asking questions later.

2015 years 8 months ago

How Childish Of You To Call Them Idiots! One Of Them Up There Is Like A Brother To Me And I Know He Didn’t Kill The Man He Didn’t Even Go Into The Home. He Was In The Car.

a concerned guest
2015 years 8 months ago

Yes, please, tell citizens to arm themselves so that there will be more deaths. Honestly, we definitely need that(This was sarcasm). I do believe that there were complications in the robbery that lead up to the shooting, but of course I have no way to prove this. It’s only speculation. And yet I still wouldn’t advise people to carry around guns so they can “defend themselves.” When they try to “defend themselves,” they’ll end up killing others and causing more bloodshed. I do believe we should have protection and the only reason I’m even commenting on this is because I don’t think EVERYONE should carry weapons. These people I believe killed out of desperation, not cold blood, although they may have been mad at this person since they were bragging about it recently. However, there are people who WOULD kill out of cold blood in this county. I know this because I know one or two myself. And I’m not talking about the mentally ill.
Well, that was a reason, and the other reason is: If you shoot first and ask questions later, you WILL go to jail. And I know one of the accused and do not believe him capable of killing out of anything besides desperation or fear. It’s not a good image to be shaking a shotgun after some kids who came into your yard to get their ball that rolled away. What if you just see them messing in the bushes but you don’t see the ball? What will you do then? Shoot, then ask questions?
As opposed as I am to this being necessary, I do agree that SOME people, who know how to use a gun, like you said, should carry protection. But you know, a cell phone could help too. 911 anyone?

2015 years 8 months ago

My congratulations to the students who overheard the murderers bragging and told deputies. We need more people who are willing to get involved like you guys did. By doing that, you’ve probably saved other lives in the process. My hats off to you!

lynn batson
2015 years 8 months ago

TO the “guest” who is so appalled about people having guns for protection, you’re an idiot. No one in their right mind would shoot at a kid for a ball rolling in their yard. You break into someone’s house, don’t expect a good outcome. I know teenagers are impulsive, but really?! How can anyone condone this heinous act? Or make excuses for them? It is sad that they will most likely spend a good chunk if not all of their life in jail. They have to pay the consequences for their actions. That’s what’s wrong with kids now, they have no consequences for their behavior. And, I’m sick of excuses. “Oh, they’ve had a hard life.” “Oh, they are poor.” What the hell gives them the right to take from others who have worked hard for what they have. My dad and all of his brothers and sisters grew up dirt poor. They were beaten, made fun of, they had to stay in an orphanage for a while becasue my grandparents couldn’t afford to feed and clothe them….they had a really rough life. But, you know what? They all worked hard and became successful in life. They worked hard tor what they had, not trying to take the easy route and steal it from others.

Guest 4545
2015 years 8 months ago

If I had a son he would like like one of these thugs!


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