Ex-deputy charged with the murder of retired Rock Hill police lieutenant

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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A Chester man has been charged with murder in the killing of a retired Rock Hill Police Lieutenant Friday afternoon, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Chester resident Evan Robert Hawthorne, 27, was served with a warrant for murder in connection with the death of retired Rock Hill Police Lieutenant Larry Vaughan, the YCSO said. Fox 46 confirmed with the sheriff’s office that Hawthorne is a former deputy with the Chester County Sheriff’s Office.

On Friday, July 23, at 3:15 p.m., deputies were called to the Anderson Apartment Building at 108 East Main Street after Vaughan was found dead in his apartment.

The York County Coroner’s Office says Vaughn had been involved in a physical assault at the location.

The Rock Hill Police requested the York County Sheriff’s Office to investigate this murder due to Vaughan having ties to their agency, the YCSO said.

Hawthorne was fired in 2019 following a DUI in a single-vehicle car accident while he was off-duty, however, he was driving his patrol vehicle at the time of the incident, according to the police report. He was fired by Sheriff Max Dorsey, the department confirmed with Fox 46. Hawthorne had just become a patrol deputy in May, according to records.

“Our hearts break for our friends and colleagues at the Rock Hill Police Department and our entire law enforcement community,” Sheriff Kevin Tolson said in a written statement released Friday night. “I’m thankful for the diligent and the expedient work for our detectives during such a difficult case regarding an individual they know personally.”

Photo: Rock Hill PD

Hawthorne was located on Friday at the corner of Ebenezer Road and Hollis Lakes Road in Rock Hill. He was then transported to the York County Detention Center.

Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys also released a statement on Saturday.

“We are grateful to Sheriff Tolson and the members of the York County Sheriff’s Office for their quick work in bringing closure to what has been a very difficult day for the members of the Rock Hill Police Department. We remember with gratitude the work of Lieutenant Larry Vaughan. He often served at our Council meetings and was always a reassuring presence in those meetings. Our prayers are with his family and the entire Police Department in the coming days.”

This case remains under investigation.

Autopsy and toxicology results are pending.

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