Bond denied for woman in dismemberment case - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Bond denied for woman in dismemberment case

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Bentley. (Source: Summerville Police Department) Bentley. (Source: Summerville Police Department)
Bentley in bond court Thursday afternoon. (Source: Stacy Jacobson/WCIV) Bentley in bond court Thursday afternoon. (Source: Stacy Jacobson/WCIV)
The Bacons Bridge Road home where Steward and Bentley lived. The Bacons Bridge Road home where Steward and Bentley lived.

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Bond was denied for the woman police say was found driving the wrong way on a highway with her husband's dismembered body in her trunk. 

In bond court Thursday afternoon, 53-year-old Nancy Bentley asked the judge several questions about the legal process and how she gets representation. Then she was denied bond.

Bentley told the court that she had lived in Summerville for four years. 

For now, she's been charged with obstruction of justice and desecration of human remains.

Affidavits allege Bentley removed Steward's legs and tried to remove his head and arms and put the pieces in three trash bags. The affidavit says Bentley used a camping-style folding saw on Bentley after he had died. 

So far, officials at the coroner's office have not said how Steward died. 

The affidavit on the obstruction of justice charge says Bentley also lied to police, telling them she did not know where to find Steward and saying she had left his car in a remote area of Bees Ferry Road.

Investigators say Bentley had 54-year-old Roy Allen Steward's body in her trunk. The coroner's office said Steward died around Jan. 2, the Dorchester County Coroner said Thursday.

According to Coroner Chris Nisbet, Steward was last seen Dec. 30.

A police report shows that Steward's brother last talked to him on Christmas Day. When Summerville police visited the mobile home on Jan. 14 to asked about Steward, Bentley reportedly told the officer that Steward had taken a bus to Texas to visit his brother. 

That information came as a surprise to the victim's brother, the report shows. 

When police returned to the home and asked to search the home for Steward, Bentley reportedly refused, claiming her home was "filthy." The officer noted that the home appeared clean, but he could smell trash. 

Nearly a week later, Steward's dismembered body was found in Summerville, police said Wednesday afternoon.

According to officials, the man's wife is in custody. Police investigating the case say the man and woman were living together, but neighbors say it went much deeper.

Steward called Bentley his wife.

Now investigators are trying to piece together the details of Steward's death and what -- if anything -- Bentley knew about it.

According to Nisbet, he was told by Summerville police Tuesday afternoon that they had found a body in a car after the car had been towed and the driver arrested. 

Nisbet said three large black trash bags were in the trunk, and upon further inspection, he could definitely say that the remains were human. During a autopsy, Nisbet said it appeared that the remains were of a man reported missing on Jan. 14.

Nisbet identified the man as Steward, but said he was still waiting on toxicology reports and fingerprint identification from the State Law Enforcement Division. The identity was determined by tattoos and other things of note on the body as relayed by the man's brother, Nisbet said.

Steward lived at Creekside Mobile home park on Bacons Bridge Road. 

Summerville police said that Nancy Bentley, Steward's roommate, was driving the car in which Steward's body was found. Bentley was arrested Wednesday. 

According to police reports, Bentley was arrested Saturday afternoon after she appeared to be driving while intoxicated because she was driving the wrong way on Highway 17A.

During an interview on the side of the highway, Bentley reportedly told officers she was bipolar and was taking five different medications for her mental health. 

She was issued a citation for careless driving and the car was turned over to a towing company, the report states. 

At the tow company's lot, an employee says Bentley's car was taken Tuesday by police. Before then, no one at the shop had any idea what was inside the car. The owner of the shop said he had no comment on the matter.

Neighbors at the Creekside Mobile Home Park described Steward as a man who cared a lot about his car, and said Bentley did not come outside the couple's home often. 

"The only thing we would hear from her is her fussing at him all the time outside," one neighbor said. "Just really rude and negative, derogatory things to him. I felt bad for him."

Gregory Charpia, who cut Steward's grass from time to time, said Steward would talk about the tense relationship the two had that involved threats. 

"But he just didn't want to leave her because it's the only thing he had and it's his love of life and all," Charpia said. "I always asked him why are you still with her if she's threatening your life and always hitting you and stuff like that. And he's like, 'I just can't leave her. She's my love.'"

Steward's brother and his wife are currently on their way to Charleston to meet with police and the coroner.

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