Florence double murder suspect was on parole

Laross Graham

A judge arraigned two Florence County men Monday, on charges they killed a Florence couple and left their bodies on a dirt road. NewsChannel 15 has learned that one of the suspects was just released from prison and was on community supervision by the SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon.

Officials at the department say Montez Barker violated his community supervision not long after he got of prison in June. Probation officials say he was scheduled to go back to court for a hearing on that violation, before the murders of 26 year old Billy Hall, Jr. and 32 year old Talya Poston.

Barker was arrested for the murders along with Laross Graham on Friday night. Probation officials say Barker, as part of his community supervision, had to wear an electronic tracking device. That helped police find track him down.

Barker was originally in prison for malicious injury to property, grand larceny and receiving stolen goods but served five more years for a lynching, kidnapping and hostage taking incident that happened while he was in prison.

Barker and Graham are charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Poston and Hall. Police found their bodies on Isaiah Road in Florence County nearly two weeks ago. They had been shot to death.

Poston's family wants prosecutors to seek the death penalty against the suspects.

"God is your judge and we are going to seek justice. We are going to see if you can experience death by lethal injection or the electric chair, is what we are gonna see that will happen in this situation," said Debra Ross, Poston's aunt.

Barker and Graham are scheduled to appear in court again next month for a bond hearing. Prosecutors are expected to ask a judge to deny bond because of the seriousness of the charges.

Police say they have just completed warrants to arrest a third person in this case. The person's name isn't being released until he's in custody.

Police say they will release more information, including a motive, when they get the third suspect.