South Carolina man charged with 31-year-old double homicide

Written by Carma Hassan, CNN Forty-two years after he was accused of murdering a South Carolina couple during a Halloween celebration, Lee Bonomo, the now-52-year-old man who has been dubbed the “Nightmare Man” by…

Written by Carma Hassan, CNN

Forty-two years after he was accused of murdering a South Carolina couple during a Halloween celebration, Lee Bonomo, the now-52-year-old man who has been dubbed the “Nightmare Man” by police, was indicted for the crime Thursday.

CNN affiliate WIS and the Greenville News first reported the development.

The couple, 44-year-old Sandra Holloway and her 25-year-old son, Andrew, were found slain October 26, 1985 in their home in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. They had been shot to death.

Police said the key to solving the case came during a random tip in 2015.

According to an affidavit, Bonomo had several shots of Jack Daniels at a bar nearby in the early morning hours of October 25.

He then told a bar employee that he was driving from Greenville to Myrtle Beach for an unknown reason.

He did not own a vehicle.

A former Greenville police officer, Joyce McKnight, told police she saw Bonomo on Halloween night at the Florence Inn and a photo of him was drawn up from the bar’s surveillance footage. She claimed he was carrying a pistol.

She said he told her he had just been to the Falls Bar, where he was arrested for public intoxication shortly before midnight. He was released from the jail around 11:30 p.m.

“At the time he was disoriented, disheveled, dirty, smelling of alcohol, was sweating profusely, crying, being stupid and being dumb,” the affidavit stated.

Bonomo denied any connection to the murders of the Holloway and Andrew Lee Cooney and said his arrest was not related to the October murders.

McKnight told police he walked away from the hotel to his car on Anderson Ferry Road, which leads to the downtown Greenville area.

Greenville police declined to comment and referred all questions to the U.S. attorney’s office.

“It’s haunted me every day,” Bonomo told the New York Daily News in an exclusive interview published Friday. “I knew the day would come.”

Bonomo was arrested in February, the same month a grand jury indicted him.

Bonomo said he is innocent. He blamed undercover detective John Miller for the investigation and alleged Miller tricked him into signing a document.

Miller told CNN in a statement that he “vehemently and unequivocally denies” the accusations.

He said a deep friendship with Bonomo led him to believe his former friend was innocent and contacted police in February to investigate “substantiated allegations” he made about the investigative tactics being used.

“After thorough and careful review of the available evidence, I have concluded that a criminal indictment should be issued against Mr. Bonomo,” Miller said.

In a statement posted on a Facebook page run by Bonomo, his attorney confirmed his client was indicted.

Bonomo’s attorney, Jonathan Lockwood, said they expect a date to be set for an April 20 motion hearing, “where Mr. Bonomo will try to have the indictment dismissed.”

CNN affiliate WCNC reported an arrest warrant was issued for Bonomo in February and Bonomo was arrested in South Carolina on February 10 and extradited to the state capital of Columbia.

Miller said the former police officer has been charged with extortion and obstruction of justice.

“Miller was recommended by a recently retired Greenville Police Captain who had knowledge of the investigation and knew it to be the correct one,” the arrest warrant stated.

Bonomo said he does not expect to remain in jail and called his past crimes and legal troubles “despicable” and “evil” but refused to use them as an excuse for his alleged crimes.

“I will defend myself 100% of the time with God’s help because I’m not afraid of anyone,” he told WIS.

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