Conway man taken off life support after birthday violence

Brian Lee Kupport (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Brian Lee Kupport (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A Conway man who police say was punched in the face so hard he began convulsing during his own birthday party Saturday night has died, according to the Horry County Coroner's Office.

According to a police report obtained by WMBF News, Horry County officers responded to a Conway emergency room in reference to an assault complaint shortly after 11 p.m. There, officers met with a witness and the victim.

The victim was said to be unconscious and officers observed several scratches on his face and head. Blood was also found along his head, ear, teeth and nose, the report said.

The witness told officers the victim and a group of friends were celebrating his birthday along Quiet Avenue when he tried to break up an argument with a man named Brian and another person. According to the witness, Brian punched the victim in the face.

Officers were able to identify the suspect as Brian Lee Kupport, 34.

The victim then fell backwards, hitting his head on the ground and immediately began convulsing, the report said.

When officers spoke with four witnesses, they confirmed most of the first witness' story, but added the victim had not intervened during another altercation and both the victim and Kupport had been drinking all day.

Another witness said Kupport had been instigating a fight, but not with the victim. When officers asked the witnesses if the two had been fighting, they all said no, the report stated.

The report further stated officers asked hospital officials about the victim's condition and were told his injuries were potentially life-threatening.

Horry County Coroner Robert Edge told WMBF News Friday that the victim, David Altman, 39, of Conway, was taken off life support and died around 11:15 p.m. Thursday night. Edge said Altman died as a result of his injuries sustained at the party.

Kupport taken into custody by officers and taken to a hospital for treatment of a laceration of unknown origins, the report said, and originally charged him with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesman for Horry County Police, said a warrant for murder was served on Kupport Friday afternoon.

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