Woman strangled, found in burning car; boyfriend is charged
Columbia — Richland County deputies are accusing a Columbia man of killing his girlfriend and leaving her body in a burning car at an Alpine Road church.
Darrell Lyrell Griffin, 48, is charged with murder in connection with the death of Johnette Pratt, 44. Pratt was found dead in a burned car parked at Christian Faith Fellowship Church about 8 p.m. Tuesday. Deputies were called to the car after a parishioner noticed the black Lincoln sedan in the church lot for much of the day with the engine running. Deputies found Pratt’s body in the front passenger’s seat.
Pratt died of manual strangulation, according to Richland County Corner Gary Watts. She also had minor burn wounds, Watts said. Griffin had gone to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department earlier Tuesday to report that he and Pratt had been victims in a robbery, deputies said, and later was taken in for questioning. He was arrested after he said he accidentally killed Pratt, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Curtis Wilson said.