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      Horry County Police: Fire death ruled a homicide

      Michael Keith Cervoni

      Horry County police say the death investigation stemming from a mobile home fire Thursday has been ruled a homicide, and three Myrtle Beach men have been charged.

      Horry County detectives began investigating after firefighters found a man dead in the mobile home fire off Burcale Road.

      According to Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler, Claudy Strickland, 65, died from blunt trauma to the head. Preliminary autopsy results showed that smoke or the fire itself was not the primary cause of death.

      Police say Strickland had been robbed and killed prior to the house being set on fire.

      Three people were arrested in connection with Strickland's murder.

      • Michael Clayton Gensel, 28, is charged with Murder, Burglary 1st Degree, Strong Arm Robbery, Arson 2nd Degree
      • Christopher Thomas Cervoni, 29, is charged with Murder, Burglary 1st Degree, Strong Arm Robbery, Arson 2nd Degree
      • Michael Keith Cervoni, 39, is charged with Accessory After the Fact of Murder

      Horry County police spokesman Robert Kegler says at least one of the suspects lived in the same mobile home park as Strickland.

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