Mount Pleasant stabbing victim's father on murder suspect: 'He killed my boy'

Rafael Muniz (right) cries as a relative comforts him Friday after a hearing for the man accused of stabbing his son in Mount Pleasant.

Family members of a man who was fatally stabbed at a Mount Pleasant construction site earlier this week cried out in a courtroom Friday and demanded answers from the co-worker jailed in his death.

But Dennis Elvin Cervantes Pavon, 33, told them that investigators' version of the events were wrong.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department has said that he used an object from a renovation project inside the Belk store to stab Raymond Muniz, 28, of Virginia in the chest around 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"This is not what happened," he said during his bond hearing Friday morning.

By law, Magistrate Linda Lombard could not set bail for Pavon, a Honduras native, because he faces a murder charge.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also placed a detainer on Pavon, which would transfer him to the agency's custody if he were released, spokesman Vincent Picard said. For privacy reasons, Picard said he could not confirm whether Pavon had documents allowing him to work in the United States.

Released Friday, arrest affidavits also added little new information about the slaying at the Mount Pleasant Towne Centre shopping mall off U.S. Highway 17.

Pavon had "willingly engaged" in a physical fight with Muniz, the documents stated. Pavon acted "with implied malice aforethought" by stabbing Muniz with a "sharp object" just above the victim's heart, they added.

Muniz's father was there when it happened.

During the hearing, family members grabbed Rafael Muniz by his T-shirt after he yelled at Pavon, who appeared on a television screen.

"Enough!" Lombard said. "We will not have this. I understand the pain, but I will not have these outbursts."

The father, who was working in a different part of the store at the time, told reporters that he saw a commotion and later found his bloodied son.

"I was on the other side of the building," he said after the proceeding. "When I see people start running, I see my son."

Outside the courthouse, loved ones pulled him into a car with others as he was overcome with emotion.

"He killed my boy," the father said. "He killed my boy."

Pavon managed to run away from the stabbing scene as police officers and deputies with dogs and a helicopter converged on the area and looked for a suspect in a red-and-white striped shirt, investigators said.

Isle of Palms police officers caught up with Pavon around 4 p.m. Thursday after a city public works employee spotted him.

Mount Pleasant police detectives later interviewed Pavon, but they did not immediately say whether he answered their questions about the slaying, which was the town's first of 2014.

For the hearing, Pavon spoke with Lombard through a Spanish interpreter over a three-way telephone call.

He had recently moved into an apartment in Richmond, Va., and couldn't remember his address there, he said. He later traveled to Mount Pleasant for work, Pavon added.

"Where were you working?" Lombard asked him.

"At the mall," he said through the interpreter. "I don't really know the address. I've been here only for three weeks."

Pavon did not say who had been employing him here. He just wanted help defending himself from the murder accusation, he said.

"I need an attorney," he said, "because things are not like this."

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