21-month-old shot and killed - FOX Carolina 21

Pair charged in wake of 21-month-old's death appear in court on drug charges

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April Dixon (Source: Darlington County Detention Center) April Dixon (Source: Darlington County Detention Center)
Timothy Oneil Sanders (Source: Darlington County Detention Center) Timothy Oneil Sanders (Source: Darlington County Detention Center)

The man and woman who were arrested Tuesday morning following the shooting death of a 21-month-old appeared in court again to answer the drug charges they are also facing.

The Hartsville Police Department arrested Timothy Oneil Sanders, 40, and April Dixon, 23, both of Hartsville, early Tuesday morning following the incident on Bell Avenue.

Sanders is charged with murder as well as the use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. Dixon is charged with misprision of a felony and accessory after the fact.

Sanders and Dixon were initially taken into custody late Monday night on drug charges such as possession, distribution, and manufacturing.

Bond was set at $65,000 for each at a hearing Wednesday morning on the drug charges. They remain in custody because bond was denied Tuesday on the previous charges.

The shooting happened around 6 p.m. Investigators rushed to the home after the child's mother called 911 to report the incident. Hartsville Police Chief James Hudson says the woman was hysterical when officers arrived.

Medics rushed the child to the hospital where the coroner pronounced the toddler dead.

Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee identified the child as Madison Dolford. Hardee said she died from a single gunshot wound.

The coroner ruled the death a homicide.

SLED agents, Hartsville police officers and Darlington County deputies Monday night combed the area looking for the person responsible for the killing.

Hours later, they tracked a person of interest down and took him into custody. He was later identified as Sanders.

"Right now we have the person in custody that we believed committed this heinous crime," said Hudson early Tuesday morning. "And we're gonna continue to work and follow up more leads to make sure that this case is handed to the solicitor's office for prosecution."

After hours inside a Hartsville Police Department interrogation room, Sanders was delivered to the Darlington County Detention Center around 1 a.m. and booked.

Hours after the shooting, Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington tweeted, "We have a responsibility to protect our citizens and our city. We must deploy stronger measures in high crime areas -- immediately. Our hearts are heavy tonight as a city mourns a senseless act of violence, ending the life of an innocent little angel."

The department investigated the case in cooperation with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Darlington County Sheriff's Office, Darlington County Coroner's Office and Darlington County Solicitor's Office.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved. WMBF News contributed to this report.

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