Man pleads guilty to manslaughter for brother's shooting death in 2011

Eugene Gardner, III (Darlington County Sheriff's Office)
Eugene Gardner, III (Darlington County Sheriff's Office)

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - The Darlington County Sheriff's Office stated Tuesday that the  brother of a Mechanicsville man killed in a 2011 shooting has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Eugene Austin "Trip" Gardner III pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the 2011 shooting of his brother, Todd Gardner, officials confirmed in a Facebook post. The judge sentenced Gardner to 20 years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter charge.

Darlington County Investigators responded to the discovery of a dead body June 21, 2011 and continued to investigate the case as a murder for nearly nine months, leading to an arrest in 2012.

The incident took place at a location known to everyone as Skeet's Bar-B-Q, 116 North Charleston Rd in Darlington June 2011. A 911 call came into dispatchers round 6 p.m. explaining that a person was unresponsive at the location.

When units arrived they found the body of 44-year-old Richard Todd Gardner inside his residence. A Florence County Crime Scene unit was dispatched to the location to assist in processing the scene.

Capt. Andy Locklair confirmed that 50-year-old Eugene Gardner, III was arrested for the murder of his brother, Richard Gardner.

Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee reported just a day after the killing, "The cause of death is a gunshot wound, and the manner is homicide."

"Todd [Gardner] was well known in the area. This is truly a tragedy for everybody in the Mechanicsville community," declared Sheriff Wayne Byrd in the days after the murder.

Eugene Gardner, III was booked into the Darlington County Detention Center in March 2012 on one charge of murder.

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