Colleton deputies charge 2 with manslaughter amid death investigation

    Rebecca Beard [L], Joseph Benton (Colleton County Detention Center)<p><br>{/p}

    The Colleton County Sheriff's Office has arrested two people on involuntary manslaughter charges after a person was found dead following a fight at a home outside Walterboro on March 6.

    Joseph T. Benton, 29, and Rebecca A. Beard, 44, were arrested Wednesday by Colleton County deputies. The pair are due in front of a magistrate for a bond hearing Thursday, March 14.

    The arrests come after an autopsy revealed the person killed in the March 6 incident died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the sheriff's office.

    Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey has identified the victim as Ricky Huff, age 59, of Walterboro.

    Deputies were called to 799 Macon Lane on Wednesday, March 6, for a report of a fight at the residence.

    The sheriff's office says Huff was unresponsive when deputies arrived. Colleton County Fire-Rescue EMTs performed CPR, but couldn't revive him, per Chief Barry McRoy.

    According to an incident report provided by the Colleton County Sheriff's Office, Benton reportedly struck Huff several times in the head when Huff allegedly made a derogatory comment about one of Benton's family members.

    Benton's South Carolina criminal record includes arrests for various misdemeanors.

    Tax map records show Beard owns the property at 799 Macon Lane.

    A state criminal background check provided by SLED reveals Beard has three prior arrests for criminal domestic violence.

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