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Guilty verdict in first Sunhouse murder trial

James Elbert Daniels


     A guilty verdict in the first of three potential trials in a series of 2015 Horry County armed robberies that resulted in two murders will leave a Nichols man in prison for the rest of his life.

     James Elbert Daniels, 30, was found guilty of murder and two armed robberies by a jury in Conway Thursday afternoon, 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said.

     Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Hood sentenced Daniels to life in prison without the possibility of parole under South Carolina’s three strikes rule because the convictions were the fourth serious convictions for Daniels, who was convicted of kidnapping in 2005.

     Daniels’ convictions were for armed robberies at the Scotchman convenience store on Lake Arrowhead Road in Myrtle Beach and a Sunhouse convenience store at Cultra Road and Oak Street in Conway in January 2015, and the murder of Trisha Stull, a Sunhouse clerk.

     Those robberies took place within an hour of each other.

     Evidence entered during the trial showed Daniels was also involved in the Jan. 2, 2015 armed robbery of a Sunhouse store on Red Bluff Road and SC 905 in Longs, and the murder of Bala Paruchuri there.

     “Mr. Daniels played an important role in one of the most violent crime sprees in our recent history,” Richardson said. “I’m glad the Stull family, the Paruchuri family and the McDowell family can get justice.”

     Charges in the Longs case remain pending. Two other men are awaiting trial in the robberies and murders,

     Co-defendants McKinley Daniels, 37, and Jerome Jenkins, 24, both of Loris; are to be tried separately.

     For more on this story see the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.