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SC Woman Raped, Beaten Before Fatal Fire

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Photo Of Crime Scene Tape (John Li/Getty Images)

Photo Of Crime Scene Tape (John Li/Getty Images)

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BARNWELL, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a 56-year-old woman found dead in her burning Barnwell home was raped and beaten before the blaze started.

Police arrested 36-year-old Michael Buckmon and 23-year-old Matthew Bolen on Monday and charged both with murder, first-degree arson, first-degree criminal sexual conduct and other charges.

Donna Dempsey died from smoke inhalation in the Nov. 1 fire. But Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward says she was beaten and sexually assaulted first.

Investigators aren’t saying why the suspects attacked the victim or whether they knew each other.

It wasn’t known if either suspect had an attorney.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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