Local News

Two in Sanford charged after bodies found in burning car

Posted August 23, 2011 3:24 p.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2011 9:01 a.m. EDT

— Two men have been charged in the deaths of a man and woman whose bodies were found inside a burning car in Sanford early Sunday morning, police said Tuesday.

Donald McLaughlin, 28, of 718 Magnolia St., faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon charges in the deaths of Christopher Michael Plush, 30, and Anna Stack Truelove, 21. Damian Arnell McSwain, 25, of 2107 Lee Ave., was charged with accessory after the fact.

Both men were being held at the Lee County jail Tuesday – McLaughlin without bond and McSwain under a $250,000 bond.

Firefighters putting out a car fire behind Warren Williams School found the bodies of Plush and Truelove inside. They had both been shot, police said. Investigators have not offered a motive and have not commented on the relationships between the victims and the suspects.

McLaughlin was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2005, after originally being charged with first-degree murder, court records state. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison, but served only six months. This week, a grand jury in Lee County began considering charges of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon charges against him, police said.

McSwain was placed on probation on Aug. 4 after being convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to state Department of Correction records. He also has a felony drug conviction from 2005.