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SC man arrested for death of father slain on New Year’s Day

January 2, 2021 GMT

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man is in custody accused of slaying his father.

The St. George Police Department said retired attorney James A. Bell, 76, was found shot in the head twice in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, news outlets reported . The Dorchester County Coroner’s Office pronounced Bell dead at 9:30 a.m. An autopsy is scheduled Tuesday at the Medical University of South Carolina to determine an official cause of death, authorities said.

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During the investigation, officers found that while Bell was asleep in a chair in the living room of his home, his 48-year-old son, Jason, allegedly shot him before returning upstairs. He later surrendered to police at the St. George Police Department where he was arrested.

Jason Bell is being held at the Dorchester County Detention Center on a charge of murder. It was unknown if he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

What sparked the shooting remains under investigation.

Bell’s slaying is the tri-county area’s first homicide of the year.