Three arrested in March killing of Lancaster County convenience store owner


Harnish Patel
Harnish Patel WBTV

Three men have been arrested in the fatal March shooting of a Lancaster convenience store owner.

According to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, Harnish Patel closed up the Speedee Mart on Pageland Highway at 11:24 p.m. on March 2 and drove straight home. That's where deputies believe he was confronted by the suspects.

Wednesday, Lancaster County deputies announced that 23-year-old Jaquinton Tradell Blair, 22-year-old Lajames Arteian Ross and 42-year-old Richard Devauhn Stewart were arrested in the case.

Blair was arrested on June 6, and Ross and Stewart were arrested two days later, on June 8.

Deputies were called to Patel's home on Craig Manor Road across from the White Oak Manor long term car facility at 11:33 the night of the shooting after a woman called 911 and said she heard screaming and gunshots.

According to an arrest warrant, the suspects told others they were going to "smash an Indian."

Patel was reportedly found just a few feet from the door of his home and was pronounced dead on scene from apparent gunshot wounds.

Blair and Ross were charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and Stewart was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accessory before the fact of attempted armed robbery.

All three are being held at the Lancaster County Detention Center. Blair and Ross were each given an $85,000 bond. Stewart was denied bond.

Anyone with additional information about this or any other case should call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-3388 or Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372) or email www.crimestopperssc.com.