Soldier with Landrum ties murdered saving woman in Chapin, S.C.

Published 3:17 pm Monday, July 25, 2016

A soldier who graduated from Landrum High School in 1996 was murdered along with another soldier while they saved a woman from an attack at a bar and grill in Chapin, S.C. early Sunday morning, July 24.

Charles Allen Judge Jr., 40, was shot and killed along with Jonathan Michael Prins, 29, at Frayed Knot Bar and Grill on Dreher Island Road in Chapin, S.C.

Lexington County, S.C. deputies arrested Joseph Elijah Mills, 25, of Little Mountain, and charged him with two counts of murder for shooting Judge and Prins with a handgun.

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According to witnesses and a statement from the Frayed Knot Bar and Grill, Judge and Prins lost their lives trying to help a female victim escape an attacker.

According to reports, Mills allegedly began arguing with a woman and another man outside the bar with multiple witnesses saying Mills assaulted the woman, slamming her into a stair railing and then pulled out a gun.

Judge and Prins are reported to have moved to help the victim and Mills allegedly fired his gun into the air and when Judge and Prins attempted to disarm Mills, Mills shot them both, killing them. The female victim was reportedly not injured.

Judge was a soldier and an engineer instructor with the South Carolina National Guard at the McCrady Training Center in Eastover, S.C. and an Iraq veteran.

The 218TH Leadership Regiment 1st BN Engineers posted to Facebook Sunday night saying, “It is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to SSG Charles A. Judge Jr. You will be truly missed by so many!! RIP Judge, see you on the other side brother!”

Judge’s commander, U.S. Army Col. Renita Berry said on behalf of the soldiers, staff and families of the 218th Regiment, we are shocked and saddened by the loss of Staff Sgt. Judge.

“He was outstanding instructor who served with great dedication and enthusiasm and demonstrated unwavering commitment to his peers, his students and this organization every day. He will be missed tremendously,” Berry said.

As of Monday, Mills was being held at the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.