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Elderly man suffers two crimes in 15 hours, suspects in custody

A local senior citizen was assaulted twice in a 15-hour time period by two Walterboro residents, who are now in custody and are facing charges for those crimes.

The suspects are Meghan E. Connor, 29, and Jason M. Benton, 45. Both are from Walterboro.

The victim is a 73-year-old man. This newspaper is withholding his identity, as policy to protect victims of crime unless that victim agrees to have their identity published.

According to a Colleton County Sheriff’s Office incident report, both of the crimes occurred on July 25th at the victim’s house in Walterboro. The crimes are unrelated.

In the first instance, the victim told authorities he allowed Connor to spend the night in his house: according to the victim’s statements, Connor frequently asked for help and the victim obliged.

When the victim awoke on the morning of July 25th, Connor held the man at gunpoint and threatened to kill him. She then demanded money. Incident reports state that the victim had about $900 from the recent sale of a utility trailer. Conner took that cash from the victim. She also seized the victim’s cell phone and removed the SIM (intelligence) card from the phone, trying to keep the victim from calling 911 for help, the report states.

Connor then left the man’s house with the stolen cash.

The victim called 911. Connor was found shortly after the crime occurred. She has been charged with Possession of a Weapon During the Commission of a Violent Crime and with armed robbery.

An incident report states she used a .38-caliber handgun during her robbery.

Then, on the same day, the victim was checking his property when he discovered a man stealing from his shed. According to an incident report, the victim had frequently found Benton stealing from his shed. This prompted the victim to routinely search his property during the night. On July 25th, the victim again discovered Benton inside his shed stealing tools. The victim told Benton to leave, at which point law enforcement officers say Benton grabbed a metal baseball bat and proceeded to attack the victim.

The victim sustained several blows to the head from the bat. Benton also kicked the man in the face and punched him with a closed fist in the face at least twice, the incident report states.

Benton then fled the scene.

When officers arrived at the victim’s house, the victim was bleeding from his hears and his face was swollen, the report states. The man was also suffering from a fractured right arm.

Benton has been arrested. He is charged with Assault and Battery, first-degree.

Body cameras from the responding law enforcement officers captured footage of the victim.

According to Colleton County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Lt. Tiger Benton, the charges against Benton are a felony, meaning they will be prosecuted in General Sessions Court.

The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he received treatment for his injuries.

As of press deadline, both suspects had been given surety bonds in bond court.

Heather Walters (1389 Posts)