Body found along I-26 near Laurens, Newberry Co. line ID’d, suspect arrested

LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said a man who was dead when he was found along Interstate 26 on Sunday morning has been identified.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, deputies from Laurens and Newberry counties were called to I-26 at the county line in reference to a body being found on the side of the interstate.

Laurens, Newberry, Lexington county deputies and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents identified the victim as Malik Hosea Kluttz, of Irmo.

According to the release, Kluttz, an unidentified woman and the suspect Ervin Chauncey Meggett, all from the Columbia area, left Columbia and went to a location in North Carolina.

When they were on their way back, a fight occurred in the vehicle and Meggett reportedly shot and killed Kluttz, according to sheriff’s office officials.

Meggett was arrested at his home in Irmo later in the day on Sunday.

Irmo Police Department officers, Richland County Sheriff’s Office deputies and SLED assisted in Meggett’s arrest.

According to the release, Meggett was charged with murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and attempted robbery, and was transported back to the Laurens County Detention Center.

Meggett was denied bond during his arraignment Monday afternoon.

A man the magistrate identified as the victim’s father spoke in court.

“What did Malik do in order for you to kill him like that and leave him on the side of the road,” said the man.

He nor the suspect’s parents wished to speak on camera with 7News after the hearing.

The suspect’s mother told us the two men were friends.

His next court date was scheduled for May 17 in General Sessions court.

Meggett is also charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime and attempted robbery.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young man whose life was taken during this senseless act of violence. We hope holding Meggett responsible for the death of their loved one will provide them with a sense of closure so they can begin the healing process. This was a multi-jurisdictional effort, so we want to thank all the agencies who assisted and helped get this guy behind bars so quickly,” Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds said. 

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