Two suspects take plea deal in 2018 Wagener murder, sentenced to 10 years

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Sep. 9—Two people charged in a 2018 murder of an elderly Wagener man took plea deals on Thursday.

Nikki Lee Price, 41, of Graniteville and Christopher Wayne Trueblood, 46, of Gaston, accepted plea deals in relation to the murder of 76-year-old Kenneth Carlisle Goodwin, according to court records.

Goodwin's body was found under a tarp in the yard at his home on Main Street in Wagener on May 28, 2018.

Trueblood was arrested and charged with murder on July 3, 2018; and Price was arrested and charged with murder on Dec. 26, 2018.

Police arrived to an incident at a residence in Wagener after receiving a complaint from a friend checking on the victim who found Goodwin's body under a tarp in the yard, according to an incident report from Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Police said Goodwin died from blunt force trauma to the head, news reports said.

Reports said Goodwin's home appeared to have been burglarized, and he was missing several items like his truck, news reports said.

Deputies eventually located Trueblood with the victim's truck.

At the crime scene, investigators also located a Mountain Dew bottle found near the victim's body, news reports said.

Analysis by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division found the bottle contained Trueblood's DNA, the reports said.

Price and Trueblood, who were both charged with murder, pleaded to accessory after the fact, according to Solicitor Bill Weeks with the Second Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Both Price and Trueblood received the accessory after the fact charge because both have some knowledge of the case or helped, Weeks said.

Weeks said Price lived in a trailer adjacent from the murder scene and had lived with the victim or assisted him in his trailer.

Trueblood admitted to police that he helped Price cover the body in a tarp, Weeks said. Police said Price and Trueblood were in a relationship at the time.

Weeks said he knows murder took place, but it was difficult to determined who participated in the murder.

"I couldn't prove who murdered him," Weeks said.

Trueblood was also charged with grand larceny.

Price and Trueblood each were sentenced to serve 10 years with the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Weeks said Price has an additional drug charge from when she was out of jail on bond.