CHARLESTON - The family of James Alan Horton said they were shocked to learn a Goose Creek woman they’d never heard of had been charged late Thursday in connection with his slaying in 1992.
Konnie Jan Glidden, 38, is one of three suspects charged in Horton’s killing and the first local person to be caught up in the case.
Horton’s mother said investigators told her that her 22-year-old son was beaten, sexually assaulted and shot to death after he caught his superior aboard a Navy minesweeper having sex with another male sailor, Horton’s mother said.
His superior aboard the Exultant, 53-year-old Thomas Solheim, was arrested this week in Suffolk County, N.Y. Another former sailor, Charles Andrew Welty of Montana, also is in custody in the case.
All three face charges of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and murder, according to Ed Buice, public affairs officer for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Solheim also will be charged with desecrating a corpse, Buice said, though he would not reveal details of what was done to Horton’s body.
Rosaline Horton, the victim’s mother, and his sister, Karen Coy, said they had no new details to share today. They learned of Glidden’s arrest late Thursday, but had never heard her name before then and don’t know how she figures in the case.
“We were very surprised,” his mother said. “We didn’t even know a woman was involved.”
Glidden is being held at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center and has a bond hearing scheduled for 7 tonight. She has no previous criminal record in South Carolina, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.
Buice said Glidden was friends with Welty and Solheim, but there is no indication she knew Horton at all. NCIS has been investigating the case with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.
Horton was stationed at the Charleston Naval Base while serving on the Exultant. His family said he had been in the Navy for five years and had signed on for five more years just before he was found bound and shot in a watery ditch near Summerville.
Investigators got their break in the case late last week when they arranged to talk to Welty in his hometown of Missoula, Mont. Welty confessed that he, along with co-defendants, beat, sexually assaulted and killed James Horton, according to an arrest affidavit charging him with murder.
Authorities arrested Solheim Tuesday night as he was walking near his mother’s house in New York, authorities said. He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, but the hearing was postponed when he had seizures.
Coy said her family has been inundated with calls and requests for interviews since news of the arrests broke. The arrests were a relief, but have also brought the family’s grief back to the surface, she said.
“It’s been real busy and very emotional,” she said. “It’s like he was killed all over again.”
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