GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) - Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said Friday a third teenage suspect has been arrested in connection to a Mauldin High School honor student's death.
Deputies said Friday afternoon Lyric Mone Lawson, an 18-year-old female, was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
Lawson is accused of helping one of the two other suspects conceal and transport the victim's body after the killing.
At her bond court hearing Friday evening, Lawson was formally charged with accessory after the fact to murder. If convicted, Lawson faces up to 15 years in prison. She was granted a cash bond of $50,000, and if she makes bond must be monitored via GPS.
A former teacher spoke up for Lawson at her hearing.
The news of the third arrest came hours after investigators announced that a 16-year-old male suspect had also been arrested and charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, armed robbery and grand larceny.
Deputies said the suspect, whose name was not released due to his age, was arrested Thursday night without incident and transported to the Greenville County Detention Center.
According to the magistrate's office, the second suspect was in bond court at 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning and given no bond.
Deputies announced the first arrest in the case Thursday morning, hours after the missing Greenville County teen was found dead along a dirt road in Laurens County.
Deputies said Thursday Sosa Mandiez Croft, 18, was arrested and charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, armed robbery, and grand larceny.
Deputies said the case began as a missing person’s investigation Wednesday morning involving a 16-year-old.
Mauldin police said they initially began investigating Wednesday after receiving a call from Joshua Meeks' mother. She told police disappeared on Tuesday night after leaving to meet friends at the Cook Out on Woodruff Road around 9 p.m.
Around 1 p.m. Wednesday, police said a cell phone ping of Meeks' phones led them to find his Toyota Corolla parked at Rocky Creek Apartments on Woodruff Road.
When police looked inside the car, they said they noticed "copious amounts" of blood covering the passenger seat. Since the apartment complex was in the the sheriff's office's jurisdiction, police said they called deputies to join in the investigation.
“During the course of investigation, investigators learned that Croft and the victim had engaged in some sort of drug deal prior to Croft stealing the victim’s car and ultimately shooting him,” Lt. Ryan Flood said in a news release.
According to arrest warrants, the two murder suspects conspired to rob Meeks and a gun was fired during the course of the armed robbery.
The warrant for Lawson states he knowingly helped Croft after the killing, aiding in concealment and transportation of the body.
Flood said deputies found the missing teen’s body near Deer Wood Circle in Laurens County early Thursday morning.
The coroner said Meeks, of Setters Court in Mauldin, died from a gunshot wound Tuesday around 10:15 p.m.
Greenville County Schools said Meeks was an 11th grade student at Mauldin High School. He was also an honor student and member of the football team.
Mauldin High football coach Harry Cabaniss tweeted this statement about the loss:
Thank you to everyone today who has reached out in support for our players, school and community. Today and the coming days will not be easy. Please continue to pray for the family of Josh Meeks. He was loved by all who knew him and will always be loved.
The school district also said Croft last attended Greenville County Schools in the 2016-2017 school year. At the time he was a student at JL Mann High School.
Croft appeared in court for a bond hearing Thursday afternoon and addressed the victim's family.
"...To the victim’s family I understand that nothing I say can ever bring Joshua back but I’m going to let you know this now, I’m working with my lawyer and I’m real-life telling who the killer is, who the person, the monster is, who took your son away from you, the person who pulled the trigger that night," Croft said.
Croft also told the Meeks family that he "never had an issue with Josh" and that he "wouldn't personally do this."
He also vowed to work with his attorneys to get the "real killer" who pulled the trigger.
"I’m going to come clean,and put it all out there; and tell my involvement of the whole situation so ya’ll can have closure even though it can’t bring him back," Croft said to the Meeks family.
Bond was denied and Croft is being held in the Greenville County Detention Center.
Deputies said the investigation is still ongoing and deputies ask for anyone with any additional information to call Crime Stoppers of Greenville at 23-CRIME.