BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - A Beaufort man has been convicted of murder for the 2017 strangulation death of his wife.
Veronica King was 51 years old when she was killed on May 15, 2017. Her husband, Dale Eugene King, 55, was found guilty of her murder on Wednesday and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
“Veronica King’s death is both tragic and cautionary,” said Hunter Swanson, who prosecuted the case and leads the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Special Victims Unit. “There was a history of alcohol and physical abuse in this relationship, and it turned deadly."
“Dale King killed his wife with his bare hands, and Veronica died nude and afraid, in her most vulnerable state,” he said.
Beaufort Police were initially called to the motel on Boundary Street where the Kings lived and worked for a report of a domestic disturbance from a relative. King denied and dispute between him and his wife, but police noticed marks on Veronica’s face.
A family member visiting the couple reported that the Kings had been drinking alcohol and arguing for much of the day. The family member also said that while she was in the bathroom of the Kings’ room, she heard an altercation between them that turned physical.
Officers photographed Veronica King’s injuries and charged Dale King with third-degree domestic violence.
He was out on bond when police responded to their motel room on the day of Veronica’s death. That morning King says he woke up and found his wife dead on the couch.
At first he denied harming her, but later admitted he struck her. A medical examiner at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston determined Veronica King suffered blunt-force trauma on her head, an abrasion near her tailbone and was strangled to death.
Swanson called 11 witnesses during the two-day trial, including the medical examiner and Beaufort Police Department officers.