Judge denies bond of man accused of killing CCU student

mprabhu@thesunnews.comMarch 3, 2013 

— An Horry County magistrate denied bond Sunday morning to the Conway man charged with the murder of a Coastal Carolina University student.

Judge Aaron C. Butler scheduled Maquis Spencer McDonald, 20, for an initial hearing at 1 p.m. April 26.

McDonald is accused in the murder of 19-year-old Anthony Liddell, a sophomore at Coastal. Liddell, who was from Bennettsville, was shot in the chest Tuesday night in the parking lot of University Place campus apartments and died from his injuries at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center that night.

McDonald appeared without a lawyer during Sunday morning’s hearing.

“This is one of my best friends that got killed,” McDonald told the judge Sunday morning. “He saved my life. If it weren’t for him, he would be in here and I would be dead.”

Police issued a warrant for McDonald’s arrest charging him with murder and possession of weapon during a violent crime. He surrendered to police Friday afternoon at a Conway gas station, according to Thom Berry, State Law Enforcement Division spokesman.

If convicted on the murder charge, McDonald could face a sentence ranging from 30 years to life in prison, Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said during the bond hearing. The gun charge carries an additional five years in prison unless McDonald is sentenced.

McDonald has never been enrolled as a student at CCU and the relationship between the two men was not identified nor was a motive released.

On Friday, Berry told The Sun News that the investigation was ongoing. It was not clear if other arrests are pending.

McDonald has two pending drug charges that were filed in October and was convicted of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in 2010, according to court records. In the assault charge McDonald was charged under the Youthful Offender Act to a period of six years, but that sentence was suspended to 18 months of probation.

Liddell was majoring in sports medicine and hoped to become a physical therapist, according to his family. He was a 2011 graduate of Marlboro County High School where he played football for two years and graduated with honors. His memorial service was held Saturday in Bennettsville.

Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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