May 18, 2024

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Columbia motorcycle shop employee latest charged in deadly parking lot brawl | Columbia

COLUMBIA — A Columbia motorcycle dealership employee is the fourth person charged in a parking lot brawl at the shop March 11 that left a man dead.

Dawonda Thomas-Powell, 49 of Columbia, was arrested March 22 and charged with first-degree mob assault and obstruction, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

Thomas-Powell is an employee at Capital City Cycles, the shop on Two Notch Road where authorities say rival bike gangs clashed in the parking lot and an Aiken County man died from his injuries.



Rival biker gangs clashed in deadly melee at Columbia motorcycle shop: 'It was mayhem'

The sheriff’s department said in a release that Thomas-Powell allegedly was charge with allegedly conspiring with members of one gang to confront the other. She was also accused of trying to cover up her involvement.

She was booked at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center and remained jailed March 23 awaiting a bond hearing, online records showed.

Thomas-Powell does not yet have an attorney listed on court records. An employee who answered the phone at Capital City Cycles on March 23 said the business declined to comment.

Sheriff Leon Lott described “mayhem” during the late afternoon confrontation near a busy stretch of Two Notch Road at Interstate 77. 

Charles Lilly, 55, of Beech Island died in the scrum. Lilly was shot twice but died from blows from a cane, Lott said.



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James Hill, 58 of Powersville, Georgia, was charged with murder and felony assault in Lilly’s death and remains in jail. Investigators believe Hill and Lilly were members of the same gang.

A phone message for Hill’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned March 23.

Another man, Kristopher Wheat, was arrested March 12 and faces a felony mob assault charge in addition to charges for obstruction and unlawful weapon possession. Wheat is free on $100,000 bond and has no attorney listed, Richland County court records show.

A fourth person arrested in the melee was 25-year-old Corey Booth. He was accused of firing a gun during the fight to defend himself as he was being piled on and stabbed, hitting a member of his own gang and two people affiliated with the other gang.

Booth was charged March 19 with unlawful possession of the gun.

Booth also was arrested March 16 by Lexington County Sheriff’s Department on charges of first-degree domestic violence and possessing a weapon during a violent crime, court records show. He is free on $8,000 bond on the domestic violence charge and $2,000 on the weapon charge, according to the records.

Booth doesn’t have an attorney listed on Lexington County court records.



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Reach Stephen Fastenau at 803-365-3235. Follow him on Twitter @StephenFastenau.