2 charged in ongoing shooting investigation in Sumter


An investigation that originally began without any charges expected changed to two facing manslaughter charges in a fatal shooting on Robney Drive earlier this month.
Based on new information gathered in the shooting death of 31-year-old Eugene Rhinehart III, of Granada Drive, warrants were issued Thursday for 43-year-old Samantha Funchess, of Robney Drive, and 28-year-old Asaad Jamal McNeil, of Rembert, said Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for the Sumter Police Department.
Officers responded to a shots fired call at a Robney Drive residence after 4:15 a.m. on Oct. 2, where they found a beaten woman and a man shot outside of the home.
An initial investigation indicated Rhinehart, with whom Funchess had a past relationship, entered the home uninvited through an unlocked door, McGirt said. He then located Funchess, confronted her and began punching her before being shot.
According to McGirt, McNeil also was in the home at the time of the incident.
After further investigation it was learned the assault on Funchess occurred while inside of the residence. Rhinehart, who was pronounced dead at Prisma Health Tuomey, was shot outside of the home after the assault ended and after he was pursued by the suspects, McGirt said.
Both Funchess, who was treated at a Columbia hospital and later released, and McNeil provided conflicting statements about the incident, McGirt said. But each admitted firing shots.
The pair were each charged with voluntary manslaughter and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, McGirt said. Both are federally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Funchess was taken into custody earlier Friday and is being held at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.
Efforts to locate McNeil are continuing.
Anyone with information about his location is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700. Information can also be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
A cash reward may be available for information leading to an arrest.