A man accused of gunning down his estranged wife in the parking lot of a Summerville restaurant in 2010 will stand trial next week after a judge rejected his plea deal on Friday.
Randal William Benton, 48, is charged with first degree murder in the death of Treva Dawn Wedge-Palmer Benton on Oct. 30, 2010, in the parking lot of Perkins Family Restaurant on Trolley Road.
Benton, shackled and wearing an orange and white jumpsuit, was in court on Friday to enter an Alford plea in the case that would have brought him a 40-year sentence with no chance of parole. In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit the act, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge.
However, after 1st Circuit assistant solicitor Russell D. Hilton presented the facts of the case, Judge Diane S. Goodstein asked Benton if those were the facts, and he said he didn't know, prompting Goodstein to reject the plea.
Read more in tomorrow's editions of The Post and Courier.