Murrells Inlet man headed to prison

A Murrells Inlet man pleaded guilty to trafficking methamphetamine this past week and was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison.

Jared Randolph Hughes, 50, pleaded guilty to trafficking methamphetamine and Circuit Court Judge Paul Burch sentenced him to serve 10 years in prison, which is the maximum for the charge, said Adam Harrelson, the assistant solicitor who prosecuted the case for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

The incident occurred in October 2018 in the Myrtle Beach area of Horry County and was investigated by agents with the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit.

Vehicle deaths

■ Lavonte Stanley , 22, from Longs died of injuries he sustained in a vehicle accident that occurred early Friday morning on Robert Edge Parkway.

■ Austin Streeter, 8, died of injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle accident that occurred on Juniper Bay Road at 8:10 a.m. Thursday.

The driver was injured in the accident and was taken to Grand Strand Medical Center, according to Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

A 2014 Hyundai Elantra was heading east on Juniper Bay Road when it ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a ditch and overturned, according to Collins.

The crash happened near Jeffords Drive, according to a tweet from Horry County Fire Rescue.

The driver's injuries are believed to be nonlife-threatening, according to HCFR.

The wreck remains under investigation by the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Carjacking draws jail time

A Myrtle Beach man was convicted this past week of carjacking a woman’s vehicle and leading police on a high-speed chase in Horry County.

Shaquille Brandon Dozier, 26, was convicted of carjacking and failure to stop for a blue light by an Horry County jury, according to Josh Holford, senior assistant solicitor, who along with assistant solicitor Cara Walker, prosecuted the case for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Circuit Court Judge Diane S. Goodstein presided over the trial and sentenced Dozier to 15 years in prison for the carjacking and three years in prison for the failure to stop for police, Holford said. The sentences will run concurrently and Dozier must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for release.

The incident occurred on July 3, 2018, in the parking lot of Inlet Square Mall when a 68-year-old woman parked in a handicap spot sitting in the driver’s seat of her vehicle was grabbed from her seat and thrown to the ground by a young man, who was identified as Dozier. The woman, who suffered injuries when she was thrown to the ground, had her cellphone so she called 911 dispatchers to report the carjacking.

Horry County police found Dozier within minutes driving the stolen Jeep on U.S. 17 Bypass, got behind him and attempted to stop the vehicle with blue lights and sirens. Dozier refused to stop and led police on a high-speed chase from U.S. 17 Bypass to Holmestown Road to S.C. 707 before he crashed the victim’s Jeep into another innocent person’s vehicle near the Bay Road intersection.

Dozier was taken into custody by Horry County police officers when he exited the vehicle after the crash.

“We would like to thank the Horry County Police Department, specifically Officers Buckingham, Truss and Stokes for their quick response to the incident, locating and apprehending the defendant,” Holford said. “This is one of the scariest situations that could happen to someone: to have a stranger come up to your parked vehicle and snatch you from your car and then drive off in it. The 68-year-old victim continues to express her fear and ongoing trauma when going to public places alone.”

Alcohol/drug incidents

■ A Conway policeman found a young Murrells Inlet woman, who appeared to be intoxicated, in the Walmart parking lot at about 10 a.m. on a recent morning, according to a Conway police report.

The policeman says the young woman was sitting on the curb near Murphy’s parking lot. When he spoke with her he noticed that her speech was slurred, her pupils were pinpointed and she was staggering due to poor balance. When the policeman asked if she had been drinking or using drugs, she said no.

However, the policeman says the woman was drooling and could not pass the nystagmus test. When he began to inventory her things the policeman found two small yellow bags holding a tan powder substance inside her bag. The policeman thought the powder was heroin so he took the young woman to Conway Medical Center for medical clearance.

The hospital staff then administered Narcan to the woman to reverse the effects of the heroin. After she received medical clearance, she was taken to jail where an employee found another small yellow bag in her bra. She was charged with being under the influence of narcotics and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

■ A Conway man was charged after Horry County’s 911 got a hang-up call. When police arrived at the Conway Express Inn, a woman there told them everything was okay.

The policeman was told that a girl had been outside of the woman’s door, but she left.

However, not long after that the policeman got another call from 911 from the same location. The policeman went back to the site where he learned that one woman wanted emergency medical technicians called to check a man with her because of drugs he had taken.

The police report says there was a strong odor of marijuana coming from the room, so the policeman asked the suspect to step outside to wait for EMS.

When the policeman asked him what he had taken he said he had smoked marijuana, snorted cocaine and taken a pain pill. When the policeman searched the room he found a white plastic bag wrapped over a yellow plastic bag holding three white rock-like substances believed to be crack. The bag was in the front zipper pocket of a black book bag lying beside the bed.

The suspect then told police that it was crack. The substance weighed 10 grams, according to the police report.

He was taken to jail where he was charged with trafficking in cocaine and contempt of family court, adult offense. He was still in jail yesterday.

Police were called back to room 112 about two and one-half hours later where they found the woman showing signs of being paranoid and nervous.

She had dilated pupils and the room smelled of marijuana that had been smoked, according to a Conway police report.

The woman asked for a cab. It came to escort her to her residence; however, after she got into the taxi, the policeman got a call that the woman had changed her route and was refusing to pay. The driver got out and confronted the woman who then tried unsuccessfully to get into the driver’s seat of the taxi. Then she started walking from the taxi toward Applebee’s. Police cuffed the woman and charged her with being under the influence of narcotics.

She was taken to jail.

■ Conway police were called to Walmart at about 3 a.m. Saturday where several people said someone had threatened several people with a gun, according to a Conway police report.

The report says the male suspect appeared to be extremely intoxicated, was nervous and kept reaching into his pockets when instructed not to.

The man and a woman with him both denied the accusations about the gun. Police say the person who called them said they were hanging out in the Walmart parking lot when someone approached them, got in his face and tried to grab the woman inappropriately.

He caller told police that the man told him he had taken cocaine and he showed them a Tupperware container that held what the policeman believed was drugs.

A witness said the man did not brandish a firearm, but told them he did have one.

The policeman said when the car door was opened he saw, in plain view, a black handgun and an open container of beer.

When the policeman tried to question the suspect, he told him he doesn’t answer questions.

The woman was then charged with open container and carrying a concealed weapon.

Police also reported finding a black backpack inside the vehicle and a Tupperware container with two bags of a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine.

A hold was put on him for a charge of possession of cocaine. Police then got a warrant for drugs/manufacture, distribution, etc. of cocaine base.

n A policeman on special assignment at University Suites on Technology Boulevard says he saw two young women wandering around in the Conway Medical Center parking lot, according to a Conway police report.

He says he was concerned that the women might have been intoxicated or lost, so he spoke with them.

He reported that they both smelled of alcohol, and one was especially talkative and sweating profusely. Neither of the girls knew where they were and thought they were in the Horry-Georgetown Technical College parking lot.

One of the women then told the policeman she had things in her backpack. Both girls told the policeman they had consumed several alcoholic drinks at a party they had attended.

At the party, one teen told the policeman that people put things in her backpack asking her to hold them.

Inside the backpack the policeman found six unopened containers of beer and the girl’s wallet. The policeman got the teen to pour out the beer and get rid of the containers.

The policeman also found that the teen had her sister’s identification in the backpack. The 19-year-old was charged with being a minor in possession of beer and borrowing an ID.

Both girls were escorted to their dormitories.

■ Conway police were called to the parking lot of Rascal’s on Sixteenth Avenue at about 6 p.m. on a recent evening where they found a young North Carolina man unconscious slumped over his automobile’s steering wheel, according to a Conway police report.

The policeman says fire staff and emergency medical workers awakened the man. The report says the policeman detected the odor of alcohol when he spoke with the man. He also says the suspect was lethargic, his eyes were watery and his speech was slurred.

He was charged with public drunkenness and taken to jail.

■ A Conway policeman was called to Conway Medical Center recently where a Myrtle Beach woman and her newborn baby had both tested positive for illegal drugs.

The police report says the policeman planned to contact the S.C. Department of Social Services to create a safety plan.

Driving without permission

A North Carolina man told Conway police that sometime between 6:30 p.m. one evening this past week and 4:30 a.m. the next morning a young Conway man took his $5,000 Ford F-150 truck without his permission. He also took $1,336 of equipment including a Milwaukee drill, battery and charger, Milwaukee Sawzall, Dewalt drywall screwdriver, aluminum platforms, Dewalt radio, compressor with hoses, large shop vacuum, truck jack from a residence in one of Conway’s flood areas. The suspect was doing work on the property and had access to the keys to the house and vehicle.

Police secured warrants for use of vehicle without owner’s permission and petit larceny.

Breach of trust

A Conway lending institution alerted Conway police to a problem with an employee. An employee said the young woman was responsible for creating fictitious payday loans to “deprive the company of $11,682.”

Police referred the case to a detective.

Vehicle break-ins

■ Someone went into a vehicle at Darden Terrace and took a Taurus 9mm handgun.

■ Police were called to Bryan’s Auto on Second Avenue in Conway on a recent morning where they found a white and orange Jeep Grand Cherokee with the front and left rear passenger doors slightly open, according to a Conway police report.

The front passenger window was broken out by what appeared to be a large rock that was sitting in the driver’s seat. There was one window completely shattered lying in the floorboard of the front passenger side.

Wires were hanging out of the left rear passenger door.

Missing items included two Kicker subwoofers, two TX subwoofers, a Rockford oxgate1500 watt amplifier, a Planet Audio 1200-watt amplifier, a blue and gray Mexican made 200 watt amplifier and a four-band Boxx or Planet Audio equalizer.

The car’s battery was left on the ground beside his car.

Assault by a mob

The wife of a Conway man, who has some problems with memory, told police that two or more men had assaulted her husband, according to a Conway police report.

She said he went outside to ask a few men standing on his lawn to “kindly leave.” He remembers that two or more men struck him in the face and neck multiple times before he fell in the street.

Pictures were taken of the man’s hands that had small bleeding cuts possibly from the fall. Photos were also taken of his neck and face. The wife said when she went outside, she found her husband lying in the road shaking so she called emergency medical workers and police.

The medical workers checked out the man and recommended that he be taken to Conway Medical Center for evaluation.

The policeman went back two days later to follow up. The victim then said doctors told him he had a minor concussion, a possible torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, a large bump and his face and neck were sore from the initial hits.

The Magic Touch

Police were called at about 8 a.m. Friday to the Magic Touch on Oak Street where they found the front window broken and the front door unlocked.

The person who called police said she heard someone curse and then heard a chain link fence rattle. When police opened the door they heard the alarm sounding, saw a glass fall and two young men running from the area toward Kenneth Street.

Police brought in their drug dog to try to track the suspects, but without success.

The owner said the only thing missing was six hair clippers, valued at $600.

Missing appliances

The owner of a house under construction on Four Mile Road says he went to the site recently where he found that his hot water heater, ceiling fan, fireplace burners and kitchen sink were gone, all still in their boxes. The owner said a back door had been left unlocked.

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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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