Man charged in fatal beating in Hilton Head

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Authorities have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a 37-year-old found on the side of the road on Hilton Head Island Sunday.

Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Robin McIntosh said 35-year-old Arturo Chimal-Guzman has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Federico Perez Nava, found just after 8 a.m. on the roadside in the area of Grant Drive and Spanish Wells Road.

Based on interviews, it is believed that an alcohol-fueled argument lead to the assault that claimed Nava's life, McIntosh said.

Witnesses told authorities, Nava and Chimal-Guzman, along with the victim's brother and a fourth man, had all been at a birthday party at a home on Sunday Ford Drive earlier in the evening.

McIntosh said the four men left the party at around 12:30 am Sunday, returning to Nava's home on Grant Drive.

As the night progressed, Federico Nava and Arturo Guzman continued to consume alcohol. At some point, a verbal altercation broke out between the men, after Nava's brother had left the party.

Federico Nava reportedly grabbed an unknown blunt object, described as possibly a baseball bat, and attacked Chimal-Guzman, McIntosh said.

Authorities say Nava chased Chimal-Guzman from behind the trailer where they had been hanging out to the front, near the roadway of Spanish Wells Rd. The fourth man, Israel Covarrubias pursued the men and attempted to break up the fight.

At that time, Nava struck Covarrubias with the bat, and Covarrubias responded by punching Nava once, sending him to the ground. Guzman then grabbed the bat and repeatedly struck Nava about the head as he lay on the ground, according to authorities.

Guzman and Covarrubias then fled the scene, leaving Nava lying injured and unresponsive in the yard.

McIntosh did not say if Covarrubias would face charges.

The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information contact Investigator Cpl. B. Cooler at 843-255-3423 or the Beaufort County Dispatch Center at 843-524-2777.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story claimed Fedrico Nava died from multiple gunshots, information attributed to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.  That information has proven incorrect.

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