A 60-year-old South Carolina man will spend the rest of his days behind prison walls for the 2019 murder of his then-wife at an apartment they used to share. Dorchester County jurors needed just 40 minutes of deliberations to find Anthony Argoe guilty, and jarring witness testimony about the defendant’s motive appears to have played a key role in the conviction.
Prosecutors with the First Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office said that a witness testified at trial about incriminating statements Argoe made years after his arrest in the death of 55-year-old Lynda Argoe. The witness said Anthony Argoe complained about the victim nagging him, saying: “[S]he would never shut up, so he shut her up for good.”
The case landed on law enforcement’s radar on June 14, 2019, the night Lynda Shuler Argoe was found by her own daughter stabbed to death at the Westbury Mews apartment she had lived in.
“On the night of June 14, 2019, the victim’s daughter called 911 and requested that law enforcement check on her mother who lived with the defendant at Westbury Mews Apartment Complex on Trolley Road in Summerville. Upon arrival, Summerville Police Department observed through the apartment’s back door the victim’s motionless body propped against her couch,” prosecutors said in a press release summarizing the allegations. “After forcing entry into the home, officers discovered she was deceased with a 19-inch butcher knife embedded into the right side of her neck. An autopsy would later show she suffered from as many as fourteen separate stab wounds on her arms, chest, stomach, and face before the final fatal blow.”
Prosecutors said that the suspect quit his job, went on an alcohol-fueled bender and stopped paying rent at the couple’s apartment — even as he purchased lottery tickets — before committing the murder.
“Several witnesses testified that Argoe’s life spiraled in the weeks leading up to the brutal murder. The Defendant had stopped going to work before eventually quitting. He spent his days at home drinking alcohol and visiting a local convenience store to purchase lottery tickets,” prosecutors said. “Text messages showed the victim was concerned that Argoe was spending his money on alcohol and not paying rent. This led to the eventual eviction of the Argoes.”
Lynda Argoe had decided to leave the defendant and was planning to move in with her daughter. She was killed the day before the planned move.
“Her vehicle sat packed with her belongings just outside of the apartment where she was killed,” prosecutors said.
The telltale signs of Anthony Argoe’s intoxication and guilt were apparent outside and nearby the crime scene, as well as on his clothing.
“An hour after the victim’s daughter last heard from her mother, the defendant was seen by a bystander passed out in a driveway near the apartment complex. Argoe was transported to Trident Hospital where his blood alcohol level was 156 mg/DL. Forensic evidence was presented at trial showing that both Argoe’s jeans shorts and a pair of flip flops he was wearing tested positive for the victim’s DNA,” prosecutors’ press release continued. “The defendant’s jean shorts appeared to be splattered with blood, and prosecutors presented evidence that the defendant stepped in the victim’s blood before putting on his shoes and leaving the apartment.”
Other longstanding warning signs were apparent, too. At least one neighbor testified about the loud arguments the former couple had. What’s more, the victim’s daughter said her mom was abused for years and testified to that in court.
The prosecution described the defendant as emotionless when Lynda Argoe’s daughter took the stand and moved those attending court to tears with her testimony.
“This was an unbelievably brutal and heinous crime,” said prosecutor David Osborne. “While the whole courtroom was teary-eyed watching Lynda’s daughter testify, Argoe showed zero remorse or sorrow.”
As a result of the murder conviction, Judge Diane Goodstein swiftly handed down the life sentence.
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