Third man arrested in connection with Aynor homicide and fire

A man was arrested Tuesday night in connection with the killing of Charles Smith on April 28 at his Aynor home.

Douglas Thomas, 21, was arrested in Columbus County, North Carolina, last night and is awaiting extradition to Horry County.

He will be charged with Murder and Arson, 1st Degree, according to police.

Tommy Lee Benton, 20, of Chadbourn, North Carolina and Mitchell Douglas Cheatham, 19, of Council, North Carolina have both also been arrested in connection with that same murder.

Benton and Cheatham are both in custody in North Carolina facing unrelated charges and awaiting extradition to Horry County, according to Lt. Robert Kegler with Horry County police.

They both face Murder and Arson charges in connection with the fire.

Arrest warrants say that on the morning of April 29, Cheatham and Benton killed Smith by beating him, then restraining Smith inside of his home while pouring gasoline on him and setting the home on fire.

Kegler also said that investigators are looking into a possible connection between a fire at the CBS Outlet in Aynor, which was owned by Smith, and the deadly fire at his home.