Body found at closed I-20 rest stop results in murder charge

A Columbia man has been charged with September shooting and killing a man and dumping the body at a closed rest area on I – 20.

Richard Lee Hudson, 65, stands accused of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

“A team of detectives has worked on this case since the body of Walter Payne was found Sept. 23,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “Based on their review of the evidence and interviews with Hudson, he shot and killed Mr. Payne with a handgun late on Sept. 17 or early Sept. 18.

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

The two men were in a long-term relationship, according to Koon. Investigators said Hudson told them he was the last person to see Payne alive.
“Mr. Payne’s vehicle was recovered from Hudson’s home,” Koon said. “It showed signs of recent cleaning and traces of Mr. Payne’s blood.”

A state trooper found Payne’s body at the former rest area near mile marker 47 on I-20 West, according to Koon.

Deputies arrested Hudson last Friday morning. He’s being held in the Lexington County Detention Center while he awaits a bond hearing.