Fiancée's charges altered in Sumter shooting death that killed woman, injured sister


After further consultation with the Third Circuit Solicitor's Office, the Sumter Police Department changed a woman’s charges to accessory after the fact after she and her fiancé were accused of murder after a shooting Friday evening.

France Pascale Metellus, 46, of Douglas, Georgia, was originally charged with murder and attempted murder, along with her fiancé, Mustafa Abdur Salaam, 51, of George Washington Boulevard, following an argument that led to a shooting. One died, and her sister was severely injured at a Chestnut Pointe apartment on Roxbury Court.

According to Tonyia McGirt, public information officer with the police department, Metellus’ charges were changed to accessory after the fact of murder and accessory after the fact of attempted murder.

Officers responded to a disturbance call at about 8:15 p.m. Friday and found Joyce Ann Bennett, 57, of Manning, dead inside her sister’s former apartment.

She died from an apparent gunshot wound, Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker said.

Her sister, Lorraine Doretha Bennett, 58, was severely injured and was transported to a Columbia hospital, where she remained there as of Saturday night.

According to a release, police reported Salaam was in a relationship with Lorraine Bennett, who recently moved from Sumter to Manning. Reports indicate Salaam Metellus went to Lorraine Bennett’s former home, an argument ensured, and shots were fired.

After the shooting, the suspects left in separate vehicles but were later located by police.

Charges against Salaam remain the same, McGirt said. He faces murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime charges.

Bond was denied this morning during a first appearance hearing for both Metellus and Salaam.

Next of Kin has been notified, and an autopsy will be performed Tuesday morning at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

An investigation is continuing.