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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.

Comment on this Story

  • PublicAvenger

    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.

  • burgerboy

    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

  • ken&quice love yall

    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.

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