Four charged in S.C. lynching

Dec. 28, 2009 at 7:58 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man is dead after what South Carolina police are calling a lynch-mob attack on Christmas Eve, officials said.

Ronnie Gene Wallace, 42, of Charlotte, N.C., died after he was attacked and beaten with sticks and 2-by-4 boards in an unincorporated area called Indian Land, across the border in South Carolina, WCNC-TV, Charlotte, reported.

Four Indian Land residents were arrested and charged with first-degree lynching, the television station said Sunday.

In South Carolina, first-degree lynching is defined as an attack by a mob that results in a death. It does not necessarily include hanging or racially-motivated hate crimes as commonly thought, WCNC-TV said.

Neighbors who called 911 said Wallace and the suspects lived a few doors from each other and that both households had been fighting all day.

Deputies had been called earlier in the day, they said, but the confrontation flared up again after they left.

The four men arrested Saturday were identified as Steven Ray Steen, 22; Marty Player, 24; Evan Starck, 28; and Shawn Starck, 33.

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