Man charged with killing wife in Perkins parking lot found guilty

Randal Benton (provided)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- A jury wasted little time Thursday in convicting, Randal Benton, 48, for the murder of his estranged wife, Treva Benton.

According to investigators, Randal shot Treva multiple times in the parking lot of Perkins Restaurant on Old Trolley Road in Summerville on October 30, 2010.

Randal Benton will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

"We had to have a closed casket funeral because she was shot up so bad. My sons couldn't even say goodbye to her," said Scott Palmer who fathered two children with Treva and at one point was married to her. "She was shot from so many different angles: the back, the legs, and the front."

The family of Treva Benton left the Dorchester County Courthouse Thursday very pleased, they say, with the guilty verdict.

"He got what he deserved," Scott said. "Treva was a very kind and gentle person. She tried to reach out to the community. She built houses for Habitat for Humanity. She did walks for autism. She gave her hair to the Locks of Love."

Holding a picture of Treva and their two kids together, Scott said he wasn't impressed with Randal Benton, who took the stand in his own defense.

"Everything that he said up there was pretty much just a fabrication best I can tell. You can tell he had been coached," Scott said.

According to investigators, the murder happened after Treva and Randal got into a fight. After the murder, he was tracked down 12 hours later in Alabama.

"The first six months after it happened was the hardest for me," said Treva's 19-year-old son Jesse Michael Palmer.

The teen says while he never thought Randal would ever kill his mother, he wasn't the best step-father.

"He's never liked me or my little brother," Jesse said.

As Treva's family left the courthouse, they said they could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

"We're just glad he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison so he can't do this to anybody again," Jesse said.

Treva's son said they no longer have any contact with his step-father's side of the family.