ST. MATTHEWS - Charges have been upgraded to murder and a third man has been implicated in connection with a fatal shooting that reportedly started over a dance floor bump.
David Benjamin, 25, of 110 Majestic Lane, St. Matthews, is now facing a charge of murder after authorities upgraded one of his three previous attempted murder charges. Kevin Frazier, 26, of 77 Northwood Court, Orangeburg, has also seen one of his three attempted murder charges upgraded to murder.
Josh Haggood, 25, of 183 Mill Branch Road, Orangeburg, is the latest individual to be arrested in the case. He is facing a murder charge.
Benjamin and Haggood made their first appearance on the murder charges in summary court Tuesday, where Calhoun County Chief Magistrate Robert Lake presented the two their rights.
Frazier will also go before Lake in a first appearance on the murder charge.
"That is administratively as far as we can go," Lake said. "The next step would be for you to appear before circuit court for a bond hearing."
Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said the upgraded charges are a result of the ongoing investigation that included a reconstruction using witnesses present during the chaos after the shooting.
"We did find some witnesses, some independent witnesses we were able to interview, and we've been able to go out to the scene and recreate the positions most of these people were in," the sheriff said. "So the detectives have placed these people in certain spots, and we looked at that versus where the gunshots were."
Frazier and Benjamin were originally charged with three counts of attempted murder a day after the Sept. 18 shooting. Police say it stemmed from a dance floor altercation at the Pine Terrace Club on Community Road near Elloree.
The combatants were told to get out of the club. Police say they took their ill feelings to the parking lot.
Around 3:30 a.m., gunfire broke out. Investigators later found more than 15 spent shell casings within 20 feet of the spot where 23-year-old Dominique Lawton was shot once in the head. Besides Lawton, two others lay wounded as a black Chevrolet Impala sped from the parking lot.
Court records indicate Benjamin and Haggood are also facing assault charges in Lexington County. According to officials, a man was beaten and stabbed in the eye with a pool stick at a nightclub in October 2006.
Detectives Matt Trentham and Henry Dukes are leading the ongoing Calhoun County investigation.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-533-5516.