Death penalty trial starts this week for Darlington man accused of killing two people in 2009
FLORENCE — A Darlington man accused of killing two people in 2009 in Florence County is going on trial this week.
Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Fonnelze Delaine, 26. He is charged with two counts of l murder and faces a possible death sentence if he’s convicted in the killings of 26-year-old Billy Hall and 32-year-old Talya Poston.
Prosecutors have said Delaine ordered them killed because the two were going to testify against him in an upcoming drug trial. Their bodies were found on a dirt road in September 2009.
Prosecutors say Delaine masterminded a plot to get rid of Poston and Hall, who he concluded were confidential informants after he was arrested on drug distribution charges. Prosecutors have shown Delaine and his attorney surveillance video of the controlled drug transaction and say they think Delaine was able to figure out who the informants were by a disabled parking tag in the vehicle that was visible in the video.
In May, the man who actually killed the two was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder. Two other defendants have also pleaded guilty for their involvement.
This is the first capital murder trial in Florence County in more than a decade.