Public safety checkpoints

Officers with the Conway Police Department will continue to conduct public safety checkpoints throughout April.

These checkpoints are designed to deter driving under the influence and aggressive driving. They also help officers make sure drivers have valid licenses and liability insurance.

The safety checkpoints will be conducted on different dates, times and locations.

Couple dies in single-car crash

A couple engaged to be married died in a single-vehicle crash early Saturday morning in Horry County, according to authorities.

The two people who died were identified as Tristan Loggie and Taylor Mitcheltree, according to Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden.

Both of them were 21-years-old and living in Galivants Ferry at the time of the wreck. They both died of injuries they sustained in the crash.

Master Trooper Brian Lee with the S.C. Highway Patrol said the wreck happened around 5:45 a.m. Saturday.

A 2013 Ford F-150 was traveling south on Nichols Highway when it ran off the right side of the road and struck a tree.

Lee said one occupant was ejected and another occupant was trapped due to the crash. Neither of them was wearing a seat belt.

Conwayite dies in shooting

The Horry County Police Department is investigating a shooting death early Tuesday morning near Conway, according to information provided by the department.

Tybius Owens, 20, was fatally shot and died from his injuries at his home on Ida Lane in Conway, according to the Horry County Coroner’s Office. Patrol officers, detectives, crime scene investigators and police dogs were called to the scene.

This incident is being investigated by the Horry County police department. No arrests had been made in the case as of Wednesday, according to Horry County police spokeswoman Mikayla Moskov.

Anyone with information is asked to call the HCPD at (843) 915-8477.

Fatal collision

Kaine Strickland, 30, died of injuries sustained in a collision on Daisy Road Sunday evening.

He lived in the Green Sea section of Horry County.

Man charged with attempted murder

A young Longs man was charged with attempted murder, third-degree assault and battery and malicious injury to personal property, $2,000 or less after about five witnesses said he stabbed another man in his neck, according to an Horry County police report.

The victim told police he was at the suspect’s residence “chilling” when he was suddenly stabbed in his neck and was chased down the road leading toward S.C. 9.

The policeman said the victim then became uncooperative and would not provide any more information until he was able to view the condition of his vehicle.

The victim said his car was parked at the suspect’s residence where witnesses said the suspect kicked in the windshield.

The policeman said the victim had an injury that was consistent with a laceration on the left side of his neck and the left side of his head.

Emergency medical workers took the victim for treatment.

A witness told police he saw the victim running down the road, covered in blood with the suspect running behind him with a knife in his hand.

Another witness said the victim ran across S.C. 9 while others in the neighborhood went to the suspect and tried to calm him down.

A second victim then confronted the suspect and while they were exchanging words, the suspect struck him in his mouth with his fist, causing him to fall over.

Other witnesses then held the suspect down until police arrived.

Still another witness told police he saw the victim running down the road with blood coming from his neck and was told to call 911. He said the suspect was coming down the road and he tried to stop him while the victim was running away. He said he and other neighbors were attempting to calm the suspect down, but he became irate and combative. He said the suspect started to argue and “sucker punched” the second man. Then he and another neighbor took the suspect to the ground to prevent more altercations.

The man who was hit told police he and the suspect argued because the suspect was trying to leave. He said when he told him he couldn’t leave, the suspect became irate toward him and when his head was turned, the suspect hit him in the jaw. The Horry County police report says the second victim had minor injuries.

Another witness said the suspect came “flying” out of his house, jumped on a white vehicle parked in the driveway and kicked in the windshield.

The suspect was medically cleared and taken to jail. He was still in jail yesterday with a $23,000 bond.

Ignoring the Governor’s orders

While an Horry County policeman was patrolling the Waccamaw River and enforcing S.C. Governor Henry McMaster’s order for all public boat landings to be closed, he came across a van parked in the woods, according to an Horry County police report.

The policeman says the driver had apparently gone around the barricades and was sleeping in the vehicle. The policeman reported that the suspect did not have a driver’s license, the vehicle was not registered, the tag was from another vehicle and the vehicle did not have any insurance on it. The driver was allowed to leave after being charged with trespassing, but the vehicle was towed.

Woman claims assault

A woman told Horry County police that a man called asking her to take some things he needed to Beulah Baptist Church on Highway 66 Saturday afternoon. She took the things he wanted to his home, but he told her he wanted to talk. They both left in their vehicles and met at Beulah Baptist Church, according to an Horry County police report.

The woman said she stayed inside her vehicle, but the suspect got out of his vehicle and came to her driver’s side door. She said he tried to open her door, but it was locked.

According to the police report, the woman said her window was down, and at that point she realized that the suspect was severely intoxicated so she tried to drive away.

She said the suspect then reached into her car and began pulling her hair and arm before he started choking her. She said he threatened to kill her. She says the suspect then told her he was going to burn her house down. He continued to choke her until she was able to drive away. Although she was rubbing her neck, she did not want medical attention, the police report says.

She told the policeman that a restraining order she had against the suspect had expired.

She did not know his exact address. The policeman reported that due to the lack of physical evidence, the case was closed.

Finding a stolen handgun

An Horry County patrolman on routine patrol spotted a vehicle parked in front of the James Frazier Building in Bucksport, according to an Horry County police report. The driver pulled out onto Bucksport Road without his lights on. The policeman says when he got behind the vehicle he smelled an odor consistent with burnt marijuana.

There were three people inside the car. The policeman says he confirmed that all three had been smoking marijuana inside the vehicle. The driver was cooperative and allowed the policeman to search the vehicle.

The cop reported finding a black book bag on the front passenger floorboard with a plastic bag holding green leafy plant material that he identified as marijuana. Also in the bag was a black handgun. The policeman says he ran the gun’s information through Horry County Dispatch and confirmed that it was reported as stolen out of Myrtle Beach.

The suspect told the policeman that he purchased the gun from a friend and he didn’t know it was in his bag.

The teen was charged with unlawful carry of a gun and possession of a gun by certain persons. The other two occupants of the vehicle were warned about the moving violation and were released.

More information on capturing a murder suspect

Eight Horry County police officers and a U.S. Marshal went to the area of Jackie Joe Loop and Gloria Faye Court this past week trying to find a possible suspect wanted for murder, according to an Horry County police report.

The group found one person who had two warrants and who told them that Eric Faulk might be in an abandoned trailer near S.C. 9 West. One officer stayed with that suspect while the others went to the abandoned building where they found Eric Kwajae-Mikhail Faulk, 22, of Conway, who has been charged in connection with the killing of retired Conway police Lt. Odell Cochran.

Officers took both men to jail.

Pointing a firearm

A Loris man was charged with pointing and presenting a firearm at a person after the suspect and the victim argued as they were traveling on U.S. 501 northbound, according to a Conway police report.

The report says the victim told police the suspect was arguing and making obscene gestures with his hand as he drove.

When the two stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Cultra Road and Church Street, the suspect pointed a handgun at the Conway man, who had a young girl with him, before he turned off of the road and left the area.

The young girl was able to get the state and license tag number of the suspect.

Drug investigation nets four

Following a drug investigation, the Horry County Police Department Narcotics & Vice Unit charged four people this past week at the Ocean Crest Inn & Suites at 601 S. Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, according to information provided by Horry County police.

Katlyn Butler, 22, of Conway was charged with child neglect, trafficking heroin and two counts of distribution of heroin. She was released from jail two days later on a $31,000 bond.

Brian Fulton, 27, of Kingstree was charged with distribution of heroin, second offense; possession of Schedule I to IV, second offense; and distribution of methamphetamine, second offense. He was released from jail the next day on a $17,000 bond.

Neica Mahala, 27, was charged with possession of Schedule I to IV, second offense and manufacture, distribute or possession of ice, crank or crack or cocaine, third offense. She was still in jail yesterday facing a $10,000. Horry County Detention Center records show Mahala with an arrest in July of 2019 for failure to pay a general sessions fine.

Termario McGee, 31, of Lake City was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, second offense. He was still in jail yesterday without a bond having been set.

Police seized the following items during this past week’s incident: one gram of heroin, 31 grams of methamphetamine, plus Roxicodone and Xanax pills.

The Horry County Police Department reminds citizens, If you see something, say something! To report a drug tip, email drugtips@horrycounty.org or call (843) 915-8346.

Vehicle crimes

■ Someone went into an unlocked vehicle on Drawbridge Drive in the Conway section of Horry County over a recent night taking a book bag that held clothes, a handgun, three magazines fully loaded with ammunition and a prescription medication, according to an Horry County police report.

An Horry County policeman later found the book bag with the clothes and a set of keys still inside near a fence at Drawbridge Drive and Jousting Circle. The handgun was entered into a national crime computer.

■ A car parked on Crusade Circle in the Conway section was entered sometime Friday. Everything was taken out of the center console and much of it was scattered around the van, according to an Horry County police report.

The owner told police there was about $40 in cash missing. The victim had no idea who might have been in his car and did not have video footage, so the case was closed.

■ A resident of Bratcher Road told police that someone went into his vehicle and took his handgun Friday between 11 p.m. and about 15 minutes after midnight.

He told the policeman he chased the suspect, but lost sight of him and believed he was in a field or woods. The policeman drove to the area where the victim thought the suspect might be, but didn’t find anyone.

■ A Conway man was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, valued at more than $10,000 after a man driving a white truck stopped a Conway policeman in the area of Church Street and Tenth Avenue. He told the policeman that the man had stolen his Mercedes with a veterans tag on it and should be around 16th Avenue and Church Street, according to a Conway police report.

The policeman went to check and returned, but the man in the white truck was gone.

The policeman then saw a Mercedes with veteran tags on it turning left onto Church Street from Tinker Town.

The policeman stopped the vehicle in a driveway on Forest View Road where he noticed the truck that the man, who had stopped him, had been driving.

The driver of the car told the policeman he and his passengers did not steal the car.

The policeman checked the truck’s vehicle number and found that the truck had been stolen out of Horry County.

The man who was driving the truck told police the guys in his car left the truck with him.

A witness told police the suspect had possession of the vehicle for two or three days while the car had been missing.

He was taken to jail where he was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, over $10,000.

■ A young Conway man told police, on a recent day he went to work at the Food Lion on Fourth Avenue at 2 p.m. and left at 4 a.m. when he found that his vehicle was missing.

The owner still had the keys to his truck that police then listed on a national crime computer.

■ A resident of Ladson Street told Conway police he keeps a key inside of his vehicle’s center console, according to a Conway report. He said he realized the vehicle was gone at about 7:30 a.m. on a recent morning.

A neighbor’s camera showed a man walking in front of the victim’s house and getting into his vehicle. The report says it appeared that the suspect took the vehicle at about 1:40 a.m.

Police completed paperwork to place the vehicle on a national crime computer network before it was found in the Plantersville section of Georgetown County. The report says it had been burned beyond recognition.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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