3 of 4 suspects charged with Beaufort Co. uncle and nephew murder appear in court

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - Three of the four suspects charged with the murder of Robert and Chaz Blanding appeared inside of a Beaufort County Detention Center courtroom on Friday morning for their preliminary hearing. The two Blandings were missing for several weeks until investigators were able to locate their bodies.

Raheem Bennett, Nashon Pringle, Channon Preston, and Symone Jones are all charged with murder. Investigators say Jones picked up Robert and Chaz Blanding from Spanish Trace apartments in Beaufort. According to investigators, Jones is the one who knew Robert Blanding and messaged him on facebook to meet up.

Raheem Bennett is 16-years-old and goes to Beaufort High School. His half-brother, Nashon Pringle, picked him up from school with Symone Jones on the day of the murders. Those three then met up with Channon Preston Jr. to smoke pot.

Jones' statement says that they sat in her blue Honda on F and B Road when Raheem Bennett opened the passenger door and shot Chaz Blanding in the neck.

An investigator told the court that Jones says the guys came up with the idea to rob Robert Blanding for his drugs and money, but the investigator also said Raheem Bennett told police it was Jones who made the plan.

"This case is still being investigated," said lead Prosecutor Mary Jones. "For now, these three individuals have been bound over at their preliminary hearings and the next step is an indictment by grand jury."

Symone Jones says the other three suspects planned to rob Robert Blanding for drugs and money, but investigators say Bennett gave a statement saying it was all Jones' idea.

Beaufort County investigators are still looking for a murder weapon.

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