FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA — Dominique Devonah Brand, 30, of Marion, was convicted following a multi-day bench trial on all three counts charged: Kidnapping Resulting in Death, Carjacking Resulting in Death, and Using or Carrying a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence in a Manner Constituting Murder.
Evidence presented by the Government at trial established that on Sunday, March 28, 2021, Brand entered Mary Ann Elvington’s home in Nichols, South Carolina. While inside the house, he fired a 12-gauge shotgun into the hallway floor at close range. Mr. Brand’s DNA was later found on multiple items inside Ms. Elvington’s home, including the spent, 12-gauge shotgun shell he fired, a pizza slice he apparently ate from while there, a water bottle he drank from, and a jewelry box he touched. Across the street from Ms. Elvington’s home, investigators found Mr. Brand’s blood and touch DNA inside a stolen church van that was stuck in the mud.
At about 6:11 p.m. that Sunday, Brand forced Ms. Elvington to drive him from her house to Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, and back into South Carolina. During this trip, Mr. Brand sat behind Ms. Elvington with the shotgun. Ms. Elvington’s cell site location information showed her car was initially headed back toward her home in Nichols. But in Lake View, South Carolina, surveillance video from the Lake View Police Department captured Brand directing Ms. Elvington into the back seat of her car, moving a gun to the front seat, getting in the driver’s seat, and making a U-turn, heading away from Ms. Elvington’s home. The surveillance video showed Brand was alone with Ms. Elvington—carrying a gun—shortly before she was murdered. After leaving Lake View, Brand drove Ms. Elvington to a remote crossroads in Marion County and walked her behind the abandoned Zion Grocery store. He held the shotgun to the back of her head and pulled the trigger, executing her.
Brand then drove Ms. Elvington’s car to Marion, where he hid it behind an abandoned club. Investigators found Brand’s blood on a wooden block sitting in the driver’s seat and on a fuse puller on the ground outside the car. Ms. Elvington’s body was located the following evening, March 29, 2021. After learning he was a suspect, Brand turned himself in to authorities on March 31, 2021.
United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon presided over the trial and will sentence Brand after receiving and reviewing a pre-sentence report that will be prepared by the United States Probation Office. Brand faces a penalty of life imprisonment on each count
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with significant assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Horry County Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion Police Department, Lake View Police Department, and Nichols Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Everett McMillian and Katie Stoughton prosecuted the case along with Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Hixson, who also serves as the Deputy Solicitor for the 15th Judicial Circuit.
Derek A. Shoemake (843) 813-0982