Two granddaughters accused in death of S.C. ex-pastor, who was allegedly zip-tied to bed and beaten

Two granddaughters accused in death of S.C. ex-pastor, who was allegedly zip-tied to bed and beaten

Authorities in South Carolina have arrested two women in the death last November of their grandfather, who was a retired pastor, PEOPLE confirms.

Nicole Krystyn Chewning, 23, was arrested Friday on a single count of abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in death, according to a warrant affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.

Chewning, of Saluda, is one of four people facing criminal charges stemming from the Rev. James Boyd Chewning’s death.

“The victim was battered, restrained to a bed using zip ties and rags and duct tape were used to cover the victim’s mouth and eyes,” the affidavit states.

Just days before her arrest, Chewning’s sister, 26-year-old Amber Nicole Trent, was also charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in death.

Trent, too, is the 79-year-old retired preacher’s granddaughter.

Neither sister has entered a plea and it was unclear if either had retained legal counsel for their impending defense.

The sisters’ parents were detained soon after Chewning’s death — each on one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in death.

Donald Ralph Chewning, 51, and Kathy Laine Chewning, 48, were arrested on Nov. 3, 2017.

Donald and Kathy Chewning have not entered pleas and information about their lawyers was unavailable Tuesday.

The retired pastor lived with Donald and Kathy Chewning, the affidavit claims.

If convicted, each of the four defendants could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The grandfather was a United Methodist minister for more than 50 years and retired in 2004.

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