BEAUFORT, SC (January 7, 2022) – A Wilmington, N.C., man who shot and killed two Hilton Head Island men in a drug-fueled delirium has been sent to prison.
Malcom Tiaheem Melton, 35, pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter for killing Marcol McNair, 25, and Quincy King, 20, in a Muddy Creek home in a 2017 incident. Melton also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime and to unlawful carrying of a pistol. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Melton was to face a jury starting Monday but decided to enter a plea instead. His trial had been delayed by COVID and for mental examinations to determine whether he was competent to stand trial and whether he could be held legally responsible for his actions.
“Justice demands that we get those questions right,” said 14th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Trasi Campbell, who prosecuted the case. “What our office determined – and what the court has validated – is that while Mr. Melton’s drug use might have led to irrational behavior on the day of these killings, it does not relieve him of legal responsibility for that behavior.
“More simply, getting drunk or high doesn’t excuse criminal actions.”
The shooting took place in the early evening of April 2, 2017, at a home on Muddy Creek Road where McNair lived and King was visiting. Melton and his girlfriend, who was friends with the victims, were staying at the home while visiting from out of state.
During his trip to Hilton Head Island, Melton took large amounts of illegal narcotics, including Ecstasy and continued to do so for the next four days. He had not slept since he and his girlfriend arrived on Hilton Head. During his visit, Melton complained that others at the residence were conspiring to rob or kill him. One of the residents cautioned him to stop taking drugs and get some sleep.
Instead, on the evening of the incident, Melton hid behind a refrigerator in the home and shot King as he walked through a door to the kitchen. McNair then entered the kitchen, and Melton shot him, too, before running from the house. A third occupant of the house shot at Melton as he fled, but Melton was not wounded.
About an hour after the shootings, a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit tracked down Melton in woods near the home and found him lying in the brush with a gun on top of him and magazines in his pockets. They also found methamphetamine and marijuana in his pockets.
Melton admitted to investigators that he shot McNair and King and told them he was scared that they planned to kill or rob him during his visit.
Also discovered at the crime scene were a handgun used by one of the occupants to shoot at Melton, cocaine, crack cocaine, alprazolam, fentanyl, methamphetamine, marijuana, numerous cellphones, an M6 rifle and ammunition. S.C. State Law Enforcement firearms examiners confirmed that casings found near the victims’ bodies had been fired from the .40-caliber Glock handgun that Melton brought with him from North Carolina and that was found on him when he was captured.
A forensic psychiatrist from the Medical University of South Carolina found Melton competent to stand trial and that he could be held criminally responsible or his actions.
Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen accepted the plea.
Campbell is a member of the Solicitor’s Office Career Criminal Unit, which prosecutes the circuit’s most violent and habitual offenders. The team has earned convictions against 406 of the 424 defendants it has prosecuted since its formation in 2009.