- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

CHESTERFIELD, S.C. (AP) - Friends and relatives of a woman who authorities allege was abducted and killed by a stranger are holding a candlelight vigil at the Chesterfield County courthouse.

Friday’s vigil marks three years since 30-year-old Hope Melton was killed.

Investigators charge 26-year-old Nickolas Miller followed Melton’s car after she stopped at a Chesterfield County store on Dec. 26, 2011. They allege he forced Melton’s car off the road on a remote highway, kidnapped her and then drove her to Kershaw County where he beat her to death with a baseball bat.

Miller is charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual assault.

His death penalty trial begins in February of 2016 although Melton’s family doesn’t understand why they have had to wait so long for the trial.

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