Man accused of killing partner, dumping body at abandoned I-20 rest area

Man accused of killing partner, dumping body at abandoned I-20 rest area
Richard Hudson, 65, of Columbia, is charged with murder. (Source: LCSD)

LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - A month after a state trooper found a man’s body at an abandoned rest area off Interstate 20, deputies have charged a man with murder.

Richard Hudson, 65, of Columbia, was arrested Friday morning.

Deputies say Hudson and the victim -- 69-year-old Walter Payne Jr., of Ohio -- were in a long-term relationship.

Hudson told investigators he was the last person to see Payne alive. They found the victim’s car at Hudson’s home in Columbia.

“It showed signs of recent cleaning and traces of Mr. Payne’s blood,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said.

Deputies believe Hudson shot and killed Payne between Sept. 17 and 18.

Payne’s body was found Sept. 23 in a wooded area of a former rest stop along I-20 West in Lexington.

“We recovered ammunition from Hudson’s car that’s consistent with the projectile recovered during Mr. Payne’s autopsy,” Koon said.

Hudson faces charges of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He’s in the Lexington County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

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