HAMPTON, SC (December 5, 2018) – An Estill man with a criminal record in two other states has been sentenced to prison for the 2017 stabbing death of a Hampton County man in an apparent fight over a gold necklace.
Daniel Lee Fludd, 24, was found guilty Wednesday of voluntary manslaughter for the killing of 40-year-old Bobby Atkins, who bled to death on his mother’s porch moments after the altercation.
“This was a senseless crime over a necklace,” said Tameaka Legette of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “No one deserves to die this way. We do not kill people over a necklace.”
Fludd was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He recieved an additional five years for possesing a weapon during the commision of a violent crime. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
Estill police were called to a home on Sapp Boulevard shortly before midnight on March 22, 2017. They found a woman on the porch, hunched over Atkins’ body.
Atkins’ girlfriend witnessed the stabbing. She told authorities she, Atkins and Fludd had been walking around town trying to sell Fludd’s gold chain, which Atkins had in his possession. Unable to make a sale, Fludd tried to fight Atkins near First Estill Baptist Church when Atkins at first refused to return the chain.
Although Atkins’ girlfriend eventually convinced Atkins to give the chain back, Fludd continued to harass him. The altercation spilled into the backyard of Atkins’ mother, who lived a short distance away. At some point, Atkins fell to the ground. Fludd pulled out a knife, then slit open Atkins’ abdomen and stabbed him in the chest, jaw and groin.
Atkins ran to the front door of his mother’s house for help and collapsed into her arms when she answered the door. Fludd ran away, however he was arrested when the returned to the crime scene the next day.
Dr. Angelina Phillips, a forensic pathologist from the Medical Univeristy of South Carolina, testified Wednesday that Atkins suffered six wounds, “most likely” created from a sharp, pointed object, or knife. Phillips was one of 15 state witnesses to take the stand during the three-day trial.
Fludd has three previous criminal convictions: For defrauding a restaurant in Massachusetts in 2010; for shoplifting in Beaufort County in 2012; and for willful obstruction of law enforcement in Georgia in 2013.
A Hampton County General Sessions Court jury deliberated for about an hour before returning a guilty verdict.
Legette is a member of the Solicitor’s Office Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most violent and habitual offenders. She has earned convictions against 59 defendants as a member of the team, which has sent 319 defendants to prison since its formation in 2008.