Next Bond Hearing for Ex-Husband Charged With Kidnapping and Murdering Sumter Woman

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Columbia, SC (WOLO)– The bond hearing for James Lee Ginther III charged with kidnapping, killing his wife and burying her body in a shallow grave is set for December 11th at 9:15 am, according to Sumter County Deputy Ken Bell.

The hearing will take place at the Sumter County Courthouse on 215 N. Harvin Street in Sumter.

Deputy Ken Bell and Sumter County Investigators brought James Lee Ginther the third back from Louisville, Kentucky late Tuesday night and charged him with the kidnapping and murder of his ex-wife, Suzette Ginther.  

Suzettes’s body was found in a shallow grave off of Burnt Gin Road and deputies said they have enough evidence to convict, they are just trying to tie up the loose ends.

Family and friends of Suzette Ginther filled in the courtroom because they say they wanted to show James how important she was to all of them, and they will not forget her.

James was brought back to Sumter last-night and deputies say they gave him the opportunity to talk, but he immediately lawyered up.

Officials found a pistol on James when he was arrested, and say they’re waiting for SLED to confirm it was the weapon used to kill Suzette.



“And take her forcibly, down to Burnt Gin Road. Forced her down there into the woods where she was killed, execution style,” Ken Bell said, Sumter County Deputy. 


“We didn’t know it was quite as dangerous as it was for her, but we did know she had a restraining order against him. So he was the first one we thought of when we heard she was missing,” Jennifer Tatum said. 


Although Sheriff Dennis said this is a crime of passion, they are still trying to find a motive.


“He was cold hearted on this. He’s shown no emotion that this was the mother of his children. It’s beyond comprehension,” Bell said. 


“I wouldn’t expect him to show any emotion… I truly wouldn’t. You know, for us, it’s anger. We’re very, very angry at him,” Tatum said.


Suzette and James have an 8 ye8-year-old a 5-year-old together. James appeared in family court this morning, where it was decided the children will go with Suzettes parents in Florida.  


“I cannot fathom the fear that was going through her head. Trying to think of who is going to take care of her kids in her absence,” Tatum said. 


“The death penalty is on the table, and today is the first time I have seen our solicitor, third circuit solicitor Chip was here himself. Which is unusual, but that just shows you how serious he’s taking this case,” Bell said.


“He took someone very special from everyone. Especially from his kids,” Tatum said. 


The judge did not set bond because of how serious the charges are against James. Instead, his bond will be decided on January 12th by a circuit court judge. 

Categories: Local News, News, Sumter