JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Deputies say they have arrested a 58-year-old Charleston attorney after a large underage drinking party was discovered at his James Island home.
The Charleston County Sheriff's Office charged Mark Wester McKnight with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
On Feb. 19, deputies responded to the area of St. James Drive and Riverland Drive in reference to a loud party.
According to investigators, as authorities approached a residence and went into the backyard, they were able to see a large party with underage people in attendance. Multiple alcoholic bottles and cans were seen scattered through the backyard.
Deputies say several suspects fled the scene when police arrived, but authorities were able to detain 16 people. As officers cleared the residence, they found more people at the home with some running out of the front door.
Investigators say that during their search, beer boxes were located inside one of the bedrooms. Authorities say they found McKnight sitting awake in his bed in the master bedroom. McKnight said he did live at the home, but he did not know what was going on.
Deputies were told that McKnight came into the backyard around 8:30 p.m. smoking a cigarette and "observed them all drink alcohol around a well lit fire." McKnight said he did not know what was going on outside and said that he had been sitting in his room since 7:30 p.m.
Thirteen of those detained by authorities were given citations for minor in possession of alcohol.
McKnight was locked up at the Charleston County Detention Center.