Man accused of killing partner, dumping body at abandoned South Carolina rest area

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LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) – Deputies charged a man with murder a month after a South Carolina state trooper found a man’s body at an abandoned rest area off Interstate 20.

Richard Hudson, 65, of Columbia, South Carolina, was arrested Friday morning.

Deputies say Hudson and the victim — 69-year-old Walter Payne Jr., of Ohio — were in a long-term relationship.

Hudson told investigators he was the last person to see Payne alive. They found the victim’s car at Hudson’s home in Columbia.

“It showed signs of recent cleaning and traces of Mr. Payne’s blood,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said.

Deputies believe Hudson shot and killed Payne between Sept. 17 and 18.

Payne’s body was found Sept. 23 in a wooded area of a former rest stop along I-20 West in Lexington.

“We recovered ammunition from Hudson’s car that’s consistent with the projectile recovered during Mr. Payne’s autopsy,” Koon said.

Hudson faces charges of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He’s in the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

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