Woman, 3 men charged in rapper's death

Police have arrested three people and are looking for a fourth in the robbery and death of Johns Island rapper James Simmons.

Simmons was found dead Monday beside an Orangeburg County highway. His family said he drove to Orangeburg County to buy a car in a deal that sounded too good to be true.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams said Wednesday that 31-year-old Rochell C. Peeples of 4067 Charleston Highway set up the deal to rob Simmons of a large sum of money and recruited three other men to help her.

Peeples was charged with robbery and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death. A magistrate set her combined bail at $90,000.

Police also charged three men with robbery. Two of them were arrested and one still is being sought.

Bryce Leon Haynes, 17, of 312 Palm Harbor Drive and Steve George Green, 18, of 1348 Crape Myrtle Way were arrested. They were released on a personal recognizance bond of $15,000 each.

Police still were looking for Kasheem Montrell Brown, 20, of 1350 Middle Pen Road.

The investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be filed, Williams said.

Police said Tuesday that somebody had called them and reported a robbery in the area where Simmons' body was found. They did not say if Simmons was the caller.

A passing motorist spotted his body about 1 p.m. Monday in tall grass about 5 feet off Charleston Highway. He had suffered head trauma, Orangeburg County sheriff's staff assistant Keisa Peterson said.

Investigators were awaiting autopsy results, Peterson said.

Simmons wanted to buy a Buick Roadmaster for $600, his cousin, Lachondria Taylor, told The Post and Courier on Tuesday. She said his cousins tried to warn him the price was too low.

Simmons, 27, used the stage name Q Ball. He was a carpenter and a member of the Johnson Boys. The rap group has performed at many local night spots and has recorded about 10 albums, including "Trappin N Stackin" and "Johnson Boys Presents."