Man accused of domestic violence, killing Berkeley County woman denied bond, report

Berkeley County, South Carolina – A man was denied bond on Friday for domestic violence and shooting his Berkeley County wife to death earlier this week.

According to police reports, the 29-year-old Maria De La Cruz Chavarria was found dead last Tuesday with six gunshot wounds.

Her husband, later identified as 32-year-old Salin Hernandez, is believed to be responsible for shooting and faces murder charges.

The police received a 911 call in regards of woman shot. When they arrived at the scene, they found the victim lying on the median and her car parked on the shoulder with the lights on.

The investigation showed that her husband followed Chavarria that morning with his vehicle driving after her asking to pull over.

As soon as Chavarria pulled over, Hernandez approached her car and started an argument. Police believe that Hernandez shot the victim at least two times while she was still on the driver seat. Just when she got out of the car, he shot the victim at least two more times before falling on the ground.

Chavarria’s several family members attended the bond hearing on Friday:

“I actually still can’t believe it. I feel like she’s going to walk in any minute and say, ‘I’m here.’ Like she’s going to walk in and be like, ‘I came for my kids, I’m sorry they made a mess’ because she always said that when someone was taking care of her kids,” said Jessica Lopez, Chavarria’s niece, who said she is now caring after the couple’s two small children.

She added that there were obvious signs of abuse.

“One time he even, you know, hit her in the face with the phone at a party when we are all there. Obviously, we can’t force her to leave him, it was her choice,” Lopez said. “We kind of fell apart because of him because normally abusers isolate their victims. There was so much drama going on and we didn’t want to get in the middle of it. At first, we did get in the middle of it but my aunt, she didn’t (want us to intervene). That was her husband. She tried to fight for her family.”

Police reports show that the couple had a history in domestic violence. Authorities have responded at their home multiple times, three times last year and two times just in April this year. However, Chavarria declined to press charges each time.

Alex Tuhell

Co-founder and publisher

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