Murder suspect still sought as new details emerge

  • Ricky Lamont Williams is being sought in the July 23 murder of George Lee Grimes. (Photo Courtesy: Barnwell County Sheriff's Office)
  • Ricky Lamont Williams is being sought in the July 23 murder of George Lee Grimes. (Photo Courtesy: Barnwell County Sheriff's Office)

Counterfeit money and drugs may have been the motive behind last week’s murder, according to a newly-released incident report.

George L. Grimes, 31, of Old Salem Road in Hilda was inside a Ford Explorer parked at 461 Fairway Lane, Barnwell, when he was shot in the head on Sunday evening, July 23, said Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward in a press release. He died from his injuries. A relative, who had been in the car with Grimes, escaped unharmed.

Ricky Lamont Williams, 39, of 130 Brown Street, Barnwell, is currently being sought for the murder, but has not been arrested as of press time. Sheriff Ed Carroll described Williams as a 6-foot-1-inch tall black male who weighs 163 pounds. Williams has brown hair and brown eyes, said the sheriff.

A cousin of Grimes, whose name has not been released, stated Williams shot Grimes in retaliation for paying for a gram of heroin with two fake $100 bills during an exchange that took place in Windsor the day before the murder, according to a report provided by the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office.

Grimes reportedly ignored texts from Williams that he needed to return the drugs. Williams and another man showed up at Grimes’ house about 30 minutes after the exchange of drugs and money, the cousin told deputies. Deputies were called but everyone inside the home denied knowing who the subjects were.

“(The cousin) stated that once Mr. Williams didn’t get his money or drugs back, he texted that Mr. Grimes and his girlfriend would be dead in the streets,” according to the report.

On the day of the murder, the cousin told deputies, he and Grimes rode to the house on Fairway Lane to meet James Anderson Langford (who has relatives living on that street). Langford, 20, of 5174 Springfield Road, Williston, reportedly wanted to “make up from a falling out” that occurred two weeks prior, according to the report.

While Grimes and Langford talked, Grimes’ cousin stepped outside the vehicle to smoke. Langford’s girlfriend, 34-year-old Summer Marie Padgett, handed him a cigarette. The cousin told deputies that Padgett told him, “You need to watch who you’re (expletive) with, giving people that fake money,” according to the report. He said Padgett is friends with Williams.

Around this time a silver four-door vehicle drove up. Williams reportedly stepped out with a handgun. The cousin said that’s when he realized that he and Grimes had been set up by Langford and Padgett, according to the report.

After seeing the gun, the cousin ran from the scene while Grimes attempted to drive away. He then heard gunshots, but continued to run. The cousin returned to the scene a few minutes later and found Grimes with a gunshot wound, states the report.

Langford and Padgett, also of 5174 Springfield Road, Williston, are charged with accessory before the fact to a felony. They remain in the Barnwell County Detention Center as deputies continue the search for Williams.