Walker Manning Hughes appears Tuesday at a bond hearing at the Johnson Detention Center in Laurens.
Greer, SC (Greenville News) -- A Laurens man was charged Tuesday in the beating death of his mother, who authorities said lay dead nearly three days before Greenville County sheriff's deputies found her in her Greer home.
Walker Manning Hughes, 39, faces charges of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in the death of Karen Hughes, according to warrants.
They also accuse him of being found with his mother's Volkswagen Jetta in Laurens County, where authorities were holding him in jail Tuesday night.
Walker Manning Hughes had been put on trespass notice from his mother's home, and witnesses said he had threatened her, warrants allege.
He made his first court appearance Tuesday at Laurens County's jail, where he wore an orange jumpsuit and shackles and said little.
Karen Hughes had been beaten about her head with a "blunt object" and cut with a knife on her neck and hands, according to warrants.
The 64-year-old died of multiple head wounds Friday night or Saturday morning, Greenville County Deputy Coroner Tom Selfridge said after an autopsy.
She was last seen Friday, according to warrants. Deputies received a call from a concerned neighbor onMondayand went to her Montclair Road home about 10 a.m., Deputy Matthew Armstrong said.
They saw her lying on the floor and forced entry into the home, he said. She was later pronounced dead, and deputies determined that her car was missing, Armstrong said.
Laurens deputies were told about the missing car and that Walker Manning Hughes - then described as a "person of interest"- could be in the Indian Mound Road area, said Lt. Judy Stiles of the Laurens Sheriff's Office.
A Laurens County sergeant said he was going down the road about 8 p.m. Monday when he saw the Volkswagen backing into a parking place at the Hot Spot on U.S. 221 South, a deputy wrote in an incident report.
The sergeant said he stopped and went into the store before seeing the driver walking toward the side of the building, the deputy wrote. The sergeant went outside, where he saw the driver sitting on the curb next to the car, according to the deputy.
The driver told the sergeant he was out of gas, the deputy wrote.
Deputies checked the man's identification and the car's tag, the deputy wrote, and the man was handcuffed and taken to Johnson Detention Center in Laurens.
Greenville County sheriff's deputies found what was believed to be blood in various places throughout the car, according to warrants. They are working on arrangements to transfer him to Greenville to face themurder charge, Master Deputy Sam Cureton said. The Laurens warrant that charges Walker Manning Hughes with receiving stolen goods lists his address as 2276 Indian Mound Road, while Greenville warrants say his address is 100 Tiger Road. Both addresses are in Laurens, according to warrants.
Hughes' arrest record dates to 1990 and includes no fewer than six burglary convictions, 16 forgery convictions and a parole revocation, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
His most recent charges prior to this week were a November third-degree assault and battery in Laurens County and five traffic- related failure to appear charges from Greenville County in February, according to SLED.
Walker Manning Hughes appeared in court Tuesday on the stolen goods charge in connection with the Volkswagen before Greenville deputies charged him with murder. Magistrate Glynda L. Tucker set his bond at $8,000, and a victims' advocate said Greenville County had a hold on him.
"A hold for what?" Walker Manning Hughes asked.
"I can't say," the advocate said.