UNION COUNTY — The stepson and niece of a woman found shot to death in her home have been charged with her murder.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon in the Grand Jury Room of the Union County Courthouse, Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced that Ashley Tyler and Dabriada Alman had been arrested and charged in connection with the Nov. 19 shooting death of Rebecca W. Tyler.
Taylor said that Ashley Tyler, 40, has been charged by his office with failure to register as a sex offender, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and murder. He said that Dabriada Alman, 40, has been charged by his office with transferring a weapon to a convicted felon and accessory after the fact of murder.
Rebecca W. Tyler, 61, was found dead in her home at 1303 River Road, Union, around 11:30 a.m., Nov 19. During Tuesday’s press conference Taylor said that she had been shot three times with a handgun. He said she’d been shot in the brain, in the heart, and in the abdomen.
Taylor said that as the investigation got under way, his office tried to contact Ashley Tyler, who he said is Rebecca Tyler’s stepson. He said that investigators initially sought to ask Ashley Tyler questions about when was the last time he’d seen and spoken with his stepmother.
Initial attempts to contact Ashley Tyler were unsuccessful as investigators were unable to locate him. Taylor said that Ashley Tyler had been living at 2206 Lockhart Highway but could not be found at that residence for three days. He said that Ashley Tyler is a registered sex offender and is required by law to notify law enforcement any time he changes his place of residence. As a result, Taylor said Capt. James McNeil of the sheriff’s office obtained a warrant for Ashley Tyler’s arrest for failure to register as a sex offender.
Taylor said that efforts to locate Ashley Tyler continued but were unsuccessful until Nov. 30 when he received a phone call informing him that Tyler was at the residence of his daughter in Fountain Inn. He said he then contacted Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain and asked for assistance in taking Ashley Tyler into custody. Taylor said that Tyler was taken into custody at approximately 3 a.m. Monday by Laurens County deputies who kept him in custody until he and two deputies arrived to take him back to Union County.
While she was not taken into custody at that time, Taylor said that Ashley Tyler’s girlfriend, Dabriada Alman, was asked to to come back to Union County for questioning as well. He said that Alman, who he said is Rebecca Tyler’s niece, did so and was questioned by investigators along with Ashley Tyler and was subsequently arrested and charged as well.
Taylor said that the weapons charges against Ashley Tyler and Dabriada Alman stem from the fact that, as a convicted felon, Tyler is not permitted to possess firearms. He said that Alman provided Tyler with the gun used to shoot his stepmother and her aunt as well as other firearms. He said that the gun used to kill Rebecca W. Tyler had been recovered.
SLED has been assisting the sheriff’s office in the investigation of Rebecca W. Tyler’s death and Taylor said Tuesday that assistance is continuing with his office having turned over evidence gathered by deputies for analysis by SLED investigators.
Taylor declined to give a motive for the killing of Rebecca W. Tyler beyond saying that robbery was not involved and there was no sign of forced entry to her home. He also declined to provide further details as the incident is still under investigation.
At the conclusion of the press conference, Taylor thanked his deputies and investigators for all their continuing hard work on the case and also thanked the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and the Fountain Inn Police Department for their assistance. He also thanked Rebecca W. Tyler’s family for their cooperation and asked the public to pray for them as they deal with the loss of a loved one in such a tragic manner.
Shortly after the press conference, a bond hearing was held for Ashley Tyler and Dabriada Alman at the Union County Jail.
Union County Magistrate Jeff Bailey denied bond on all charges for both Tyler and Alman and set their initial appearance in court for Jan. 26, 2016 and their appearance in General Sessions Court for Feb. 1, 2016.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.