Funeral held for Hartsville toddler shot to death - WSPA.com

Funeral held for Hartsville toddler shot to death

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HARTSVILLE, SC -

Friends, family and members of the community attended the funeral for Madison Dolford, the 21-month-old shot to death Monday night in Hartsville.

The funeral was held at the chapel at Young & Young Funeral Home located at 711 S 6th Street in Hartsville.  Meanwhile her parents remain in jail charged in connection with her death.

Bond hearings took place Wednesday morning for Timothy O'Neil Sanders, 40, and April Dixon, 23, both of Bell Avenue in Hartsville. 

Sanders is charged with murder as well as the use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Dixon is charged with misprision of a felony and accessory after the fact.

Sanders and Dixon were initially arrested late Monday night on narcotics charges. Both are being held at the Darlington County Detention Center.

Wednesday morning, both Sanders and Dixon appeared before a judge on the drug charges.

That judge set individual bonds for the suspects, at $25,000 cash or surety on the possession of cocaine charges, $20,000 cash or surety for the possession of marijuana charges and $10,000 cash or surety on the possession of drugs within proximity of a school charges.

Bond was denied for the pair in a separate hearing that took place late Tuesday afternoon at the Hartsville Police Department.

During that hearing, the suspects went in front of magistrate judge via video conference on the charges directly related to the shooting incident.

Sanders will also appear before a Circuit Court judge for a bond hearing on the actual murder charge itself.

The arrests took place after Hartsville police responded  to a reported shooting on Bell Avenue just after 6 p.m. Monday evening.

Members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Hartsville police and the Darlington County solicitors office met this morning to discuss the case.

The 21-month-old girl died early Monday evening after being shot in front of a home on Bell Avenue, Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee told WBTW. 

Hardee identified the victim as Madison Dolford and Dixon and Sanders as her parents.

The girl's body was sent for autopsy Tuesday. Coroner Hardee has officially ruled this death a Homicide after Madison died from a single gunshot wound.

The shooting happened in the front yard while the mother of the child was with the little girl, Hardee said. The girl's mother called 911 at 6:12 pm, Hardee said.

April Dixon and Timothy O'Neil Sanders, who both live at the address where the shooting happened, were facing only drug charges earlier  Tuesday morning, according to the Darlington County Jail.

Hardee said authorities initially believed that the shooting incident stemmed from an alleged altercation about a week earlier between some adults.

Authorities deployed bloodhounds in the area and searched for suspects in the shooting from about 7 pm until just after 11 pm, officials at the scene told News13.

After 11 pm, officials then said that they were not sure who fired the gun and that the search for a suspect had been called off.

Around 11:30 pm Monday -- after the search was called off -- authorities confirmed that they had taken a man into custody in connection with the shooting.

Police said the man was "a person of interest" that they had discussed earlier and they were looking for.

Hartsville Mayor Mel Pennington wrote on Twitter about the incident, calling for 'stronger' crime fighting in some areas.

"Our hearts are heavy tonight as a city mourns a senseless act of violence, ending the life of an innocent little angel," Pennington wrote. "We have a responsibility to protect our citizens and our city. We must deploy stronger measures in high crime areas -- immediately."

Hartsville Police are investigating, but SLED and the Darlington County Sheriff's Office are also assisting in the investigation.

NOTE: A previous report indicated the girl was 18-months-old, but officials later said she was 21-months-old.

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