Murder at Beech Island nightclub

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News 12 at 11, February 16, 2007

Beech Island, SC. --- Tony Redy was out collecting cans around 5:30 Saturday morning when he discovered a man lying face down outside the Hilltop Club. That's on Cary Drive in Beech Island, South Carolina.

"I see that he wasn't moving. That's I said something wrong cause the vehicle over here and he laying down here. So, I said something ain't right. That's when I called 911," Tony Redy said.

The victim, 56-year-old Henry Freeman lived less than a mile from the club. Investigators said Freeman's Lincoln Navigator was parked at Hilltop Club.

"So we know that he is a regular customer at the Hilltop Club and had every reason to be there," Lt. Michael Frank said.

Initially, the coroner said Freeman suffered a head injury. The autopsy Saturday afternoon in Newberry confirmed that Freeman was murdered and died from blunt force trauma to the head.

"I thought maybe he had tripped down and fell. That's what I thought. And then I looked at him again, he wasn't moving," Redy said.

Investigators said they are also looking into an armed robbery that happened Friday night near the Hilltop Club. The three robbers were armed with a hand gun, crowbar, and a golf club.

"It's more than a coincidence that you have these two crimes occur in proximity to each other and so we have to investigate the possibility that there is a connection. But at this point we don't know for certain," Lt. Frank said.

Investigators do not have any suspects. If you have any information on this murder, you are asked to call the Aiken County Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers of the Midlands at (888)-559-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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