2 charged following dispute’s escalation

EASLEY — Two Easley men are facing charges after an argument turned violent, with a lawnmower blade used as a weapon and a man shot in the arm.
According to warrants issued by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Billy Ernest Morris, Jr., 33, of 617 Anthony Road, has been charged with attempted murder. Another man involved, Matthew Paul Ferguson, 27, of 109 Avery Drive, faces charges of attempted burglary.
In an incident report, deputies said they believe the two men started arguing after Morris returned home from work around 4:30 p.m. May 13 to find Ferguson drinking alcohol on his porch. According to the report, Ferguson asked for money and Morris refused. Deputies believe that Ferguson became irate, grabbing a lawnmower blade and approaching Morris in an aggressive manner.
According to the report, Morris was holding Ferguson’s 2-year-old son and retreated inside the house. Deputies say Ferguson then began beating on the front door of the home and threatened to kill Morris.
Morris told deputies he opened the door and fired two shots at Ferguson with a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun he had in the home. One of the shots hit Ferguson in the forearm, according to arrest warrants.
Officers charged Morris with attempted murder because they believe that “with malice aforethought” he attempted to kill Ferguson, according to the warrant.
The two men are being held at the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center awaiting a bond hearing.
Both men remain in the Pickens County Detention Center awaiting bond.