4 denied bond in killing

  • Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 12:01 a.m., Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012 2:01 p.m.
Charles Welty (clockwise from top left), Orval Emery, Thomas Solheim and Konnie Glidden were charged kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the 1992 death of James Alan Horton.

James Alan Horton was abducted, beaten, gang-raped and shot to death. His body was left to rot in a drainage ditch.

Because he was a sailor stationed at the former Charleston Naval Base, Horton's 1992 slaying was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as well as the Berkeley and Charleston sheriff's offices, but no arrests were made.

In November, the NCIS Cold Case Unit announced it was reopening the case. In July, four people were charged with murder by Berkeley County authorities. On Thursday, they faced charges in Charleston County relating to his abduction and sexual assault.

Thomas Solheim, 53, of Montauk, N.Y.; Charles Welty, 38, of Missoula, Mont.; Orval Douglas Emery, 40, of Hemet, Calif.; and Konnie Glidden, 38, of Goose Creek, were each charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping. At a hearing Thursday, Charleston County Magistrate Linda S. Lombard denied bond for all four suspects on all of the charges.

In the arrest warrants, investigators detail the last hours of Horton's life:

--Horton was walking near the intersection of Montague Avenue and Mall Drive in North Charleston when a car pulled up with three people inside,

Solheim, Welty and Glidden. One of them pulled out a gun and forced him into the car. They drove him to Glidden's mobile home on Oakwood Avenue, where Emery later joined them.

--While at Glidden's mobile home, Horton was bound and beaten. He was sodomized by all three of the men and forced to have intercourse with Glidden while his hands were tied behind his back.

His assailants later drove Horton to Sheep Island Road, also known as Summerville Light Road, in Berkeley County, where they shot him in the chest and left him to die. His body was found two weeks later, face down in about 4 feet of water with his hands tied behind his back.

Horton was a 22-year-old sailor assigned to the ocean minesweeper Exultant. His mother, Rosaline Horton of Sherburne, N.Y., said detectives told her that her son was killed after he witnessed male sailors having sex with each other aboard the ship.

Solheim was a gunner's mate who served aboard the Exultant along with Emery, an engineman, and Horton, a boatswain's mate, according to The Associated Press. Welty, an electrician's mate, was assigned to the Frank Cable. Glidden was a hospital corpsman at the former Navy Hospital on Rivers Avenue.

Welty, Emery and Glidden have been held in the Hill-Finklea Detention Center in Moncks Corner since they were arrested and charged with Horton's murder. They were driven to Charleston County on Thursday for the bond hearing and were to be returned to Moncks Corner today.

Though he is also charged with murder in Berkeley County, Solheim has been detained at the Charleston County jail because of a medical condition.

Solheim's lawyer, Breen Stevens of Savage and Savage, said after the hearing that his client was optimistic and that the law firm was continuing to conduct its own investigation of the case.

Comments { }

Postandcourier.com is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Postandcourier.com does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not postandcourier.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full Terms and Conditions.