The young Conway man who turned himself in for the shooting death last Tuesday of Coastal Carolina University student Anthony Darnell Liddle, of Bennettsville, told authorities Liddle had been his friend. Marquis Spencer McDonald, 20, was accompanied by a family member to a Conway gas station to surrender Friday evening, shortly after the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) issued a warrant for his arrest, according to Thom Berry, spokesman for SLED.
McDonald remains behind bars as Judge Aaron C. Butler denied his bond request Sunday morning. McDonald’s hearing is set for Apr. 26, in Horry County.
Memorial services for Liddle were held in Bennettsville this past Saturday.
According to Berry, McDonald told Judge Butler, “This is one of my best friends that got killed. And he [Liddle] saved my life. And if it weren’t for him, he’d be in here, and I’d be dead.”
Berry did not confirm, nor deny, questions about the relationship between McDonald and the deceased except to say, “the investigation is ongoing.” Coastal Carolina University officials have, however, confirmed that McDonald has never been enrolled as a student there.
“This is not a random event,” said Berry. The conflict here, he said, was between two individuals who just happened to be on a college campus when the incident occurred.
Witnesses at the scene reported hearing as many as four to five shots. One student reported seeing his body fall against the back window of a car. Authorities have confirmed that Liddle died of gunshot wounds to the chest.
Criminal records from Horry County show McDonald pleaded guilty in 2010, when he was 16, to charges of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Under the Youth Offenders Act, McDonald received 18 months probation. The records also show simultaneous charges against McDonald of 2nd degree lynching and robbery. Those charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain deal, said Berry.
In addition to one count of murder, McDonald is also currently charged with one count of possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached at 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.