Chesnee Quadruple Homicide: Suspects, Theories & Facts
When all four employees of Superbike Motorsports, a motorcycle shop in Chesnee, South Carolina, were shot and killed on November 6, 2003, no one thought that the case would still be under investigation more than eight years later. Investigators with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office have looked at a number of possible suspects and scenarios to explain this crime. We look at who they've crossed off of their list, and what theories still remain.
When Scott Ponder, his mother Beverly Guy, service manager Brian Lucas and mechanic Chris "Shubby" Sherbert were shot and killed, police quickly looked at the victims' families for possible suspects. Their spotlight shined brightest on Melissa Ponder, Scott's wife.
Melissa was seven weeks pregnant at the time of the murders. Melissa and Scott had recently celebrated Melissa's pregnancy. So did Beverly Guy, who would become a grandmother for the first time. But when Scott was killed, Melissa seemed like the one person with the most to gain, and investigators had to ask if her baby was, in fact, Scott's.
According to lead investigator William Gary, a mix up at the forensic lab during the investigation showed that Brian Lucas was the father of Melissa's baby. But it also showed that Brian was the son of Beverly Guy. Investigators eventually came to the conclusion that Brian and Scott's blood samples had been mislabeled, and confirmed that Scott was the father of Melissa's baby. But not before she was put through intense examination.
"The investigation focused on me and that was hard, but I was okay with it," said Melissa.
"If it meant that they could cross me off of their list and get closer to finding Scott's killer, I didn't mind. I had to hold onto that baby because it was the only piece of Scott that I had left."
Melissa is remarried, and has moved out of state. She lives with her new husband, Scottie and Scottie's two little brothers.
Melissa and Scottie recently visited South Carolina, and Scott's best friend took Scottie for a ride on Scott's motorcycle.
Scott's blue and white Suzuki motorcycle, and jacket, can be seen in AMW's broadcast of the Chesnee Quadruple Homicide. Scott's best friend rode the motorcycle for AMW in an effort to help find Scott's killer.
One Crime: Two Suspects?
Investigators say one fact is clear, there was just one shooter who took out all four victims at Superbike Motorsports on the afternoon of November 6, 2003. But the question remains, could the shooter have had an accomplice?
The shootings occurred in the afternoon hours on a fairly busy two lane road, Parris Bridge Road in Chesnee, South Carolina. Passersby reportedly saw a few vehicles in the parking lot around the time of the shooting. Two trucks were parked inside of an interior gate. Those trucks are described on the official wanted poster as a dark blue Chevrolet or GMC Z-71 and a small blue pickup truck.
The area where the trucks were spotted is customarily reserved for employee vehicles. When investigators arrived on the scene, they found an open garage door leading out to that gated area. A black Suzuki 750 Katana was in the service area, loaded with fluids, as if it was being sold. Mechanic Chris Sherbert was lying dead beside that motorcycle. This is where authorities believe the shooter fired first. They wonder if the shooter entered the building through that open garage door.
Investigators won't reveal their actual timeline between the last customer who left the store, and the arrival of Noel Lee, the first person to find the victims. But they say that their investigation shows that the shooter acted quickly.
Witnesses reported a suspicious customer in the store that day, who cops believe may have been the shooter. But they are also working a theory that the mysterious customer may have been a look out person who called the killer who entered through that garage door.
Facts on the Business and the Person of Interest
Just a few months before the shootings, Scott Ponder and Brian Luas attended a conference for Suzuki dealers in Las Vegas, Nevada. Scott was applauded for the growth and success of his business just one year after acquiring a Suzuki franchise. Investigators believe Scott's success may have played a role in the attack on the business.
- Scott built up his business buying and selling bikes online. With less overhead in Chesnee, South Carolina, Scott could undercut the competition. A map in his offices marked sales in states nationwide.
- Investigators interviewed some former customers of Superbike Motorsports who accused the company of price gouging on repairs. One example of bad business was evidence that investigators found of a bike sale that Scott made. The buyer was unable to register the bike in another state because it had a salvage title. But the buyer told police that Scott quickly remedied the problem and gave the buyer his money back.
THE PERSON OF INTEREST
- Wore a heavy black jacket on an unseasonably warm day.
- Didn't look up or make eye contact with fellow customers as Scott showed him a motorcycle.
- Said he was an amateur rider but was looking at a powerful Suzuki Katana 750 motorcycle.
- Had brown feathered hair, parted in the middle.