Hilton Head man beaten to death after party, Sheriff's Office says

astice@islandpacket.comOctober 22, 2012 

  • Tip line

    Anyone with information on the case can call Cpl. B. Cooler at 843-255-3423 or the Beaufort County Dispatch Center at 843-524-2777.

A Hilton Head Island man found on a roadside Sunday morning had been in "an alcohol-fueled argument" that led to his death, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Federico Perez Nava, 37, was probably beaten to death with a blunt object, possibly a baseball bat, after he attacked two other men, the Sheriff's Office said.

Arturo Chimal Guzman, 35, was charged Sunday with voluntary manslaughter. He is being held for prosecution, with bond set at $250,000. He is also wanted for Immigration and Customs Enforcement questioning, according to the Beaufort County Detention Center log.

Nava and Guzman, as well as Nava's brother and a fourth man, had all been to a birthday party at a home on Sunday Ford Drive earlier in the evening, the Sheriff's Office said Monday.

The four men left at 12:30 a.m. to go to Nava's home on Grant Drive. Nava's brother left the home, but Nava and Guzman continued to drink alcohol, the Sheriff's Office said. An argument broke out, and Nava is believed to have grabbed a blunt object and attacked Guzman, the release said.

Nava chased Guzman from behind the Grant Drive mobile home toward Spanish Wells Road, while a third man tried to break up the fight, the release said. Nava struck the third man with the object. The man punched Nava in the face, the release said.

After Nava fell to the ground, Guzman grabbed the object and repeatedly struck him in the head. Guzman and the other man then left Nava, who was unresponsive.

County Coroner Ed Allen said Nava was pronounced dead at 8 a.m., after deputies arrived.

An autopsy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston confirmed Monday that the cause of death was blunt-force trauma, Allen said. The investigation continues, according to the Sheriff's Office.

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