Originally created 02/11/06

Authorities arrest man in slaying



GRANITEVILLE - A 24-year-old man blasted the mother of his child twice with a shotgun Friday and left her dead on the ground outside her apartment, authorities said.

Aiken County Sheriff's deputies found Nicole McKie, 34, yards from her residence in the Kalmia Apartments complex near downtown Graniteville, Sheriff Mike Hunt said at the crime scene.

Police say that Jeffery L. Scott Jr., of the 100 block of Hanna Drive in Warrenville, confronted Ms. McKie at about 11:30 a.m. and an argument ensued.

The disagreement escalated and Ms. McKie was shot twice in the arm and chest. Mr. Scott is charged with murder.

A young child the couple share was inside Ms. McKie's apartment at the time of the incident. Her family members reportedly took custody afterward.

Investigators were searching for a motive Friday. Nicole White, a friend of Ms. McKie, said the victim was pregnant.

Ms. McKie was shot at "pretty close range" and autopsy results showed that she bled to death to death because of severe lacerations to her lungs, kidneys and liver, Coroner Tim Carlton said.

Miroscopic analysis that could determine whether she was pregnant could take up to a week to complete, Aiken County Deputy Coroner Jeff Smith said.

It didn't take police long to find Mr. Scott on Friday.

His father showed up at the crime scene and escorted deputies to a Huber Clay Road residence, where Mr. Scott surrendered about two hours after the crime, Sheriff Hunt said. The suspect was taken to the Aiken County detention center.

Even before Mr. Scott's father appeared, residents identified him, Sheriff Hunt said.

Mr. Scott didn't live with Ms. McKie. Residents at the crime scene said the victim had been dating another man.

"You never know when you're going to leave out this world," Ms. White said. "Too much stuff going on."