Crime & Courts

Murder added to domestic violence charge after woman’s throat was slashed, SC cops say

An Upstate man who was arrested after he fought with his wife and another woman had murder added to his previous charges, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said Wednesday.

Robert Kenneth Martin was already being held in the Abbeville County Detention Center for domestic violence when more charges were filed against the 26-year-old Calhoun Falls man, SLED said in a news release.

Those were crimes related to the killing of 29-year-old Jessica Ekholm, the Index-Journal reported.

The Abbeville County Coroner’s Office said she died at a Calhoun Falls home late last Friday following a confrontation with Martin, according to WYFF.

Ekholm was trying to stop Martin from assaulting his wife in front of their 1- and 2-year-old children, per WACH. Arrest warrants said Martin wrapped his hands around his wife’s neck, leaving scratch marks, according to the TV station.

The coroner’s office said Ekholm used a pocket knife to stab Martin in the back, before he retaliated with a “straight-bladed kitchen knife out of a kitchen block,” WYFF reported.

Martin slashed Ekholm’s throat, cutting her neck with the knife, arrest warrants show.

Ekholm died and Martin was airlifted by helicopter to an area hospital before being taken to the detention center on the domestic violence charge, per WHNS.

On Tuesday, Martin was also charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, SLED said.

Martin remains behind bars, according to SLED.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.