Investigators in the bizarre rope-dragging of an African-American man’s body across 10 miles of Newberry County countryside are focusing on a large weapons cache found inside the suspect’s mobile home, officials said Thursday.
Authorities said they are also exploring specific evidence — which they will not discuss — that leads them to believe the shooting death and subsequent dragging of Anthony Hill, 30, of Winnsboro, is a possible hate crime under federal statutes. But they stressed they have made no determination.
The FBI, the State Law Enforcement Division and Newberry County Sheriff’s Department each have investigators working the case.
Gregory Collins, a 19-year-old white chicken-plant worker, was arrested and charged with murder in the death of Hill, a co-worker, early Wednesday. The weapons were found in Collins’ blood-spattered, $425-a-month rental mobile home off S.C. 34 at the edge of the Sumter National Forest after a SLED SWAT team fired three canisters of tear gas, driving him from the mobile home.