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NEWS RELEASES
Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Man Arrested in Fatal Stabbing


Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives arrested a 26-year-old Leesville man on Friday, April 5 in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 54-year-old Lexington man, who was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Department on March 9. Detectives recovered the body of the 54-year-old man, who was stabbed in his left eye and suffered a fractured skull, on Friday after detectives excavated a burial site outside the 26-year-old man’s home on Lee Gunter Road.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives arrested Worth Edward Cook, III, 26, of 815 Lee Gunter Road, Leesville, on arrest warrants on charges of murder, financial transaction card fraud and obtaining property under false pretenses. Agents with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services also served Cook with an arrest warrant on a charge that Cook violated the conditions of his court-ordered supervision.

Cook was being held on Sunday, April 7 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing, Metts said. Under South Carolina law, a circuit judge would have to conduct a bond hearing for Cook in general sessions court because murder carries a punishment of life in prison. The 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office has not yet scheduled a bond hearing for Cook.

Detectives also arrested Richard Earl Barnes, 40, of 4127 Greenwood Drive, West Columbia, on arrest warrants on charges of being an accessory after the fact to murder, manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing 28 grams or less of marijuana, Metts said. Barnes was being held on Sunday at the county Detention Center on bail totaling $5,620.

The mother of David Johnathan Diblasi reported her 54-year-old son missing to the Sheriff’s Department on March 9, Metts said.

Diblasi’s mother told deputies that she last saw her son at her home on February 25, Metts said. Diblasi lived with his mother at her home at 223 Southwood Drive near Lexington.

Arrest warrants allege that Diblasi was last seen on February 25 in the company of Barnes and Cook, who knew Diblasi, Metts said. Surveillance camera video shows Barnes and Cook traveled on March 5 in a white 1997 Chrysler Town & Country van that is owned by Barnes’ girlfriend to a Wal-Mart supercenter on South Lake Drive near Lexington, where Cook used Diblasi’s TD Bank credit card to buy baby supplies, including diapers. Diblasi was not with Cook when Cook used Diblasi’s credit card to make the purchase. Cook’s girlfriend is pregnant.

On Friday afternoon, detectives executed a search warrant at Cook’s home and found Diblasi’s body in a clandestine grave that had been dug on Cook’s property, Metts said. The body later was positively identified as Diblasi’s body, based on numerous tattoos found on the body.

Arrest warrants allege that Cook stabbed Diblasi multiple times with a knife at Cook’s home and later buried Diblasi’s body in the backyard of Cook’s home, Metts said. After he killed Diblasi, Cook cut up Diblasi’s white 1996 Isuzu Hombre pickup truck, which Diblasi had driven to Cook’s home.

Arrest warrants further allege that Barnes, who knew Diblasi had been reported missing and suspected that Diblasi had been murdered, took the remaining parts of Diblasi’s Isuzu Hombre pickup truck to Temple’s Verbe Auto Parts, 7303 Two Notch Road, Batesburg, where Barnes sold the remaining parts of the truck for metal recycling, Metts said. Barnes also unsuccessfully tried to use Diblasi’s credit card to buy a saw at a home improvement center.

Metts said the motive for the fatal stabbing of Diblasi remains under investigation. Detectives might file additional charges in connection with Diblasi’s murder.

Metts asked anyone with information about Barnes, Cook, Diblasi or the fatal stabbing of Diblasi to contact the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.



 


07/18/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Deputies  
07/19/2014 - Detectives Charge Man with Restaurant Robbery  
07/19/2014 - Deputies Arrest Two Women and One Man for Breaking Into Home at Gunpoint  
07/16/2014 - Reserve Deputy Training  
07/12/2014 - Detention Center Enhances Visitation With Inmates  
07/11/2014 - Deputies Arrest Teen-Ager for Breaking Into Home  
07/09/2014 - More than 70 Units of Blood Donated to Red Cross  
07/08/2014 - More than 500 Eyeglasses Donated to South Carolina Lions Charitable Services  
07/06/2014 - Investigators Arrest Three Additional Persons for Illegally Operating Gaming House  
07/04/2014 - Investigators Arrest Man for Illegally Operating Gaming House  
07/04/2014 - Inspection Results in Arrests of Two Men for Selling Counterfeit Items  
07/03/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Deputies  
07/03/2014 - Book Sale  
07/03/2014 - 5th Annual Catfish Tournament  
07/03/2014 - Deputies Arrest Man for Impersonating Law Enforcement Officer and Kidnapping Women at Motel  
06/28/2014 - Detectives Arrest Man for Attempting to Sexually Assault Two Women at Motel  
06/25/2014 - Cell Phones for Soldiers  
06/25/2014 - Sheriff Promotes Four Deputies  
06/23/2014 - Honor Flight  
06/19/2014 - A. Lewis McCarty Sworn is as 38th Sheriff of Lexington County  
06/19/2014 - Fugitve Arrested for Having Sex with a 13 year old girl Returned to Lexington County  
06/19/2014 - Man Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter in Shooting Death of His Brother  
06/17/2014 - A Lewis McCarty appointed Sheriff  
06/14/2014 - Officers Seize Methamphetamine Laboratory  
06/13/2014 - Blood Drive  


NEWS RELEASES


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