(Lexington County) - Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives charged a Lexington man with murder after they say he fatally shot another man Saturday with a high-powered rifle during a dispute about a bet that the men had made on the Clemson-Carolina game.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives charged James Walter Quick, 42, with murder and possessing a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
Quick was being held at the Lexington County Detention Center on Sunday while awaiting a bond hearing.
Metts says under South Carolina law, a circuit court judge would have to set bond for Quick in general sessions court on the murder charge because murder carries a punishment of life in prison. A bond hearing for Quick has not yet been scheduled.
Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman said preliminary results of an autopsy that was performed Sunday on the body of Richard Allen Johnson, 43, show that Johnson died instantly after he was shot once in the chest with a rifle.
Authorities say the Sheriff's Department received a call about the shooting incident from Johnson’s wife, Lynn, at about 5:45 p.m. Lynn Johnson told telecommunications operators that Quick had shot her husband.
Investigators say Quick and Johnson, who are good friends, bet $20 on the outcome of the Clemson-USC football game. Quick bet on USC winning, while Johnson bet on Clemson.
Metts say after the game ended, Quick and Johnson began arguing about their bet on the football game while they were outside of the house. Authorities believe the two had been drinking beer all afternoon. Investigators say that during the argument, Quick went to his car and retrieved a high-powered rifle that he normally uses for hunting.
Quick then turned towards Johnson and fired one shot from the rifle at him, striking him in the chest.
"There's no excuse for killing someone, especially over a Carolina-Clemson game when you have a bet. That's ridiculous to shoot somebody over that," Sheriff Metts said.
Bob Riddick says he came home Saturday evening and was shocked to hear the news. The victim's next door neighbor of more than 10 years says Johnson was a good guy, with a big heart.
"He would do anything for you, anytime. He would go out of his way to help you out," Riddick said.
Metts say that deputies who responded to the call found Quick standing with his arms folded across his chest and leaning against his car. Officers arrested Quick without incident and recovered the rifle from Quick’s car.
"He knew that we were looking for him, he apparently knew what he had done," Metts said.