MONCKS CORNER -- The last of four suspects accused in the grisly 1992 slaying of a Charleston-based sailor faced a judge here Tuesday after being extradited from New York.
Thomas V. Solheim, 53, of Montauk, N.Y., is charged with murder in the shooting death of James Alan Horton. Solheim was arrested last month near his home and had been fighting extradition. A judge in New York ruled Aug. 9 that the paperwork from South Carolina was in order and Berkeley County sheriff's deputies brought Solheim back to the state.
Wearing shorts and tennis shoes, his hands cuffed in front of him, Solheim said nothing as Berkeley County Magistrate Rad Deaton explained that only a circuit judge could set bail on a charge of murder.
The judge asked Horton's sister, Karen Coy of Gaston, if she wanted to say anything. "I feel that he is a flight risk," she said.
Solheim's attorney, Breen Stevens of Savage and Savage, said Solheim has medical needs and asked the judge to consider moving Solheim to an infirmary. Deaton said the matter should be taken up with the detention center staff or a circuit judge.
After the hearing, Stevens declined to elaborate on Solheim's medical condition. He said Solheim's defense would be managed by Andy Savage. Solheim is being held without bail in the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.
Charles Welty, 38, of Missoula, Mont.; Douglas Emery, 40, of Hemet, Calif.; and Konnie Jan Glidden, 38, of Goose Creek, also are being held without bail in Berkeley County in connection with the killing.
The slaying is thought to have crossed jurisdictional lines and additional charges may be filed by other agencies, said Dan Moon, public information officer for the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
Outside the courtroom, Horton's sister held a photograph of her brother and wore his Navy rank insignia pinned to her chest.
"We're relieved that all of them are behind bars," Coy said. It has been a long wait for Horton's family, she said.
Horton was a 22-year-old sailor assigned to the ocean minesweeper Exultant at the former Charleston Naval Base. His body was found in a drainage ditch off Sheep Island Road in Berkeley County on Nov. 14, 1992. He was face down in about 4 feet of water with his hands tied behind his back. He had been shot in the chest, struck on the head with a blunt object and sexually assaulted.
Horton's mother, Rosaline Horton, said detectives told her that her son was killed after he caught a superior officer aboard the Exultant having sex with another male sailor.
The NCIS Cold Case Unit announced in November that they were reopening the 17-year-old investigation with the hope that advances in DNA technology could help catch Horton's killers.
It remained a cold case until July 8, when Welty told investigators in Montana that he and others beat, sexually assaulted and shot Horton, according to an arrest affidavit.
Thomas Solheim (right) is escorted into a bond court hearing by a Berkeley County detention officer (left) and attorney Breen Stevens. Solheim is charged in the death of James Alan Horton.×