Friday, December 11, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: ACSO Arrests Wife of Murder Victim

The wife of a man killed last month in a "drug deal gone bad" was arrested this morning on a felony drug charge.

Melanie Lirley, 29, of Aiken,
was arrested by the Aiken County Sheriff's Office on a charge of possession of controlled substances (schedule I, II, V), according to jail records.

On November 23, the suspect's husband, 35-year-old Paul Lirley, was shot in “what appears to be a drug deal gone bad,” according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene near Crestland Drive and Weston Drive in North Augusta.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots and finding the victim’s wife crying that her husband had been shot.

Authorities have arrested one man and are seeking another man in the killing. Robert Lee Smith II, 18, of Aiken, was captured last week and charged with murder, armed robbery, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Vincent Marlous Manning, 33, of North Augusta, is wanted on charges of murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

According to his obituary, the victim was a native of Heidelberg, Germany, and he had made Aiken his home for the past four years. Mr. Lirley was a carpenter by trade in construction and attended Cedar Creek Church.

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