Murder charges filed in death of man found shot in burning vehicle

VIDEO: Murder charges filed in death of man found shot in burning vehicle

LINCOLNVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County man has been charged with murder almost a month after a man was found dead in a burning car.

Charleston County deputies on Friday charged 24-year old Levelton Givens in connection with the shooting death of 20-year old Robert Rutlin Jr.

Deputies found Rutlin's body on August 27 at Magnolia Bay Apartments in Ladson.

A photo of the burning car on the night of the killing
A photo of the burning car on the night of the killing (Source: Live 5)

According to an arrest warrant a man who was in the car with Rutlin identified Givens as the alleged killer through a photo lineup.

Rutlin's girlfriend recalled the night he was killed.

"The look in his face before he left, when we told each other we loved each other was something I'll never forget ever, I will never forget that day ever," Talia Jimenez said from her home in New York.

"Yesterday when I got the news he was arrested it was almost like a breath of fresh air," Jimenez said. Yeah we have justice and I'm happy about it but Robert is still gone. His mom lost a son, his father lost a son, his little brother lost someone to look up to.

A judge denied bond for Givens on the murder and attempted murder charges. Only a circuit judge can set bond for murder in South Carolina.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office say detectives believe after the victim was shot, he accelerated in the vehicle, possibly deliberately, and collided into a surrounding wooded area.

“At that point, the vehicle caught fire from the collision,” CCSO officials said."The deceased subject in the burned car was the shooting victim."

Investigators have not said what the motive may have been for the shooting.

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