87
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      "He was not involved in the crime": Rape charge against one man dropped, another arrested

      The Marlboro County Sheriff's Office says the Fourth Circuit Solicitor's Office has dismissed charges against Kadeem Hooks, 20. He was accused of raping a woman in her 70's at knifepoint at her home on Old Wire Road in Wallace last weekend.

      Marlboro County Sheriff Fred Knight says Hooks has been released from custody, as it is apparent he was not involved in the crime.

      Knight says they've now charged Derrick Dupree, 31, with Burglary First Degree , Kidnapping, Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree and Use of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime.

      Knight says deputies got conclusive forensic evidence from the State Law Enforcement Division that shows Dupree was involved in the crime.

      Deputies and investigators responded to a home on Old Wire Road Sunday afternoon, where a victim used a Life Alert system to contact police, following the assault, according to Sheriff Fred Knight.

      The investigation revealed that a 70-year-old woman, at home with her 80-year-old husband, answered a knock at their door, and the suspect then made his way into the home where he assaulted her at knifepoint while her husband sat in another room, deputies added.

      The victim was able to use her Life Alert system to alert 911 and scare away the suspect.

      He adds that Hooks was arrested based on eyewitness ' accounts that led investigators to question him.

      Knight says Hooks gave a videotaped confession to the crime.

      He goes on to say Hooks ?? arrest was based on probable cause.

      "This has been a very exhausting and complicated case that we have spent day and night on. I will say that my whole career I have always tried to do what is right. When our investigation revealed some inconsistencies, we realized that we needed to continue to investigate. We had strong probable cause with a confession given by Mr. Hooks but we still felt compelled to work. We then were contacted by new witnesses and began investigating Dupree. The next day SLED confirmed Dupree was the suspect. Forensic evidence matched to Dupree is conclusive evidence. My goal as Sheriff of Marlboro County is to protect the citizens and make sure we do all we can to find the truth and justice in each case. The new evidence and diligent work we have done has made certain of that and that an innocent man was not convicted. I hope that the victim and their family as well as the citizens of Marlboro County can find peace and confidence that the MCSO relies heavily on ethics and persistence in our daily jobs, " explained Knight.

      Knight says Dupree has a lengthy criminal record and served prison time recently.

      He's being held at the Marlboro County Detention Center.

      A bond hearing for Dupree will be held at a later time.

      Knight says this investigation will continue to make certain no stone is left unturned.