Gaffney man charged with killing woman, hiding body appears in court

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GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – A Gaffney man accused of killing a woman then hiding her body behind his home opened up in court Monday at the Cherokee County Law Enforcement Center.

Marshall Lee was denied bond, a decision by a magistrate judge that was expected since Lee’s charges are serious enough to be sent to a higher court.

What wasn’t as expected happened when Lee spoke in court.

Lee’s court hearing lasted less than 10 minutes.

In that short amount of time and despite the judge’s caution about speaking without a lawyer present, Lee opened up about his state of mind.

“There’s been a lot of days I don’t remember nothin’,” Lee said.

The hearing came four days after Lee was charged with murdering a woman at his home on Union Highway in Gaffney.

The victim is identified as Jamie Lynn Buser, 35, of Chicago Ridge, Illinois.

The coroner said Buser had been reported missing from Charlotte, N.C. 

Her body was found Thursday night covered with trash. 

Lee is accused of hiding her body for days in a thickly wooded ravine behind his home on Union Highway .

After the bond hearing, Sheriff Steve Mueller spoke with 7News about new details in the case.

“(Lee) went online, located this woman and she came down to Cherokee County,” Mueller explained.

Mueller said the victim was contacted by Lee online.

The sheriff said investigators collected text messages between Lee and Buser that show Lee was looking for sex.

“She traveled around to different areas and she was performing prostitution through an escort service,” Mueller said.

“She in fact came to that residence sometime (last) Monday. She was murdered. He disposed of her body out behind the house,” he continued.

Mueller elaborated and said Lee had shot the woman while his wife and children weren’t home.

By Thursday, while working with police in Charlotte on a report of a missing woman, the sheriff said deputies obtained a search warrant and found the body.

Prosecutors said in court Lee admitted to committing the crime.

Lee denied that and challenged that statement in front of the judge.

“I never actually admitted to doing it. I never said once that I’d done it,” said Lee.

The sheriff reacted to his statement.

“It’s amazing how you remember certain details of a crime, a murder, but all of a sudden you forget certain things. We believe without a doubt we’ve got the right person in custody,” he said.

Mueller said the only other trouble with the law he knows of Lee facing dated back more than 15 years ago for a domestic violence incident.

Lee is due back at the Cherokee County Courthouse at 9 a.m. Nov. 14.

If Lee doesn’t have his own lawyer by then, the sheriff said Lee would be offered a public defender.

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