Trio plead guilty in federal court after deadly 2016 Loris armed robbery

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Three Tabor City men arrested in connection to the armed robbery and shooting death of a Loris store owner in 2016 pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday.

Jonathan Stefan Vanderhorst, 23, Jim Tracy Miller, 28, and Demetrius Altman, 39, pled guilty before US District Judge Brian Harwell.

Evidence presented at trial established that on May 3, 2016, Altman drove Miller and Vanderhorst to rob the Clarendon, North Carolina Post Office. Upon arrival, Altman waited in the vehicle and Miller and Vanderhorst entered the Post Office. Vanderhorst jumped the counter, presented a firearm, and struck the Post Office clerk, the only occupant of the post office. Vanderhorst and Miller stole $284 and the clerk’s cell phone and left in Altman’s vehicle, a news release from the US Department of Justice says.

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Thirteen days later, on May 16, 2016, Altman drove Miller and Vanderhorst from Tabor City to Loris to rob the Loris Market and Beverage store. Altman stayed in the vehicle and Vanderhorst and Miller entered the store. The only occupants of the store were the owners, a husband and his wife, both of whom were working behind the checkout counter. After entering, Vanderhorst fired a shot at the female victim, missing her. Vanderhorst then approached the counter and fired another shot up into the ceiling. The store owner took the money out of the register and passed it to Vanderhorst who took the money handed it to Miller. Vanderhorst then turned and fired two shots, striking and ultimately killing the store owner, the release states.

Miller and Altman face a maximum possible penalty of 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years supervised release. Vanderhorst faces a mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life, a fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of at least three years.

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