“Stand Your Ground” defense
James Loftis, 39, claims he shot Guma Dubar and James Newland in self-defense after they barged into his home on March 5, demanding a hefty taxi fare after 13 mile ride back to Goose Creek from a Charleston strip club, according to the Post and Courier newspaper.
“What he said to everybody, including the police, ‘I had the phone in my hand, I was going to call and I freaked out,’ ” attorney Stephen Harris quoting the defendant.
“What happened afterward is heinous,” Harris told WCSC-TV. “There’s nothing good about it.”
The suspect’s wife came home to a bleached home — Loftis’ apparent attempt to clean up a bloody mess — and called police.
Investigators discovered the charred remains of taxi driver Dubar and his friend and passenger Newland in their backyard. The alleged home invaders had been struck in the head, with a total of eight shots discharged in the incident.
“They were essentially just slow-cooked inside the grave site,” the Post and Courier reported deputy solicitor Bryan Alfaro as saying during a Monday court hearing.
Loftis faces two counts of murder in the shooting deaths. He was granted the ability to post bond during the court appearance .
He cited a size 12 footprint on the front door as a factor in the shooting as self-defense, the Post and Courier added, suggesting that the victims had kicked the door in an attempt to break in.
At the time of Dubar’s death, the driver was out on bail on an attempted murder charge in suspicion of shooting a man in the leg during a January 2015 incident.
A judge set bail Monday for the Goose Creek man accused of shooting, burning and burying two people in his backyard.
Officers responded to a home on South Pandora Drive the night of Sunday, March 6 after Loftis’s wife reported her husband was suicidal and claimed to have killed two people and buried them in the back yard while she was out of town, according to Goose Creek Assistant Chief of Police Maj. John Grainger.
Bond for James Loftis was set at $250,000. Loftis is charged with two counts of murder in the March 5 killings of Guma Dubar of North Charleston and James Cody Newland of Ladson.
Family Left Behind
Dubar and his family, wife Tamiko Anderson, daughter , Carles’ Anderson
If Tamiko Anderson knew it would be the last time she laid eyes on her husband, she would have stopped when she saw him early Friday.
But she was rushing to get to work when he pulled into the driveway of their North Charleston home. He was exhausted from a night of driving his taxi; it was a business he ran to help support his wife of 22 years and his daughter in college.
They rolled down their windows, said “I love you” and blew each other a kiss.
A day later, her phone rang. Her husband, 46-year-old Guma Dubar, was likely one of the two men found shot, burned and buried in a Goose Creek backyard. The authorities said a man Dubar had driven home that night was his killer.
“I didn’t get to touch him. I didn’t get to hold him,” she said. “I’m hurt because (the killer) robbed me of my soul mate. … He burned him, and I can’t even see him again. I can’t even hold him again.”
Dubar was confirmed Tuesday as one of the two victims of a crime that rattled the community along Goose Creek’s South Pandora Drive. Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said he would not name the other victim publicly until DNA testing verifies the identity.
But the mother of James Cody Newland, 32, of North Charleston, a friend of Dubar’s, said her son was the presumed second victim. Cynthia Ann Newland of Parkersburg, W.Va., submitted a DNA sample on Tuesday for the test.
She said her son had struggled with some demons in life, but he always had been happy-go-lucky.
“He was my son and only child,” she said, fighting tears. “I didn’t think I would ever have children. He was pretty special, and he certainly didn’t deserve this.”
Both of the victims were shot in the head. Bullets also hit Dubar’s torso, the coroner said. Their bodies were burned beyond recognition and left in a shallow pit of dirt behind James Edward Loftis’ house before authorities discovered them late Saturday.
Loftis, 39, is jailed on two counts of murder. Now out on $250,000 bail