Socastee man pleads guilty to shooting

A Socastee man pleaded guilty earlier this week to shooting his then-girlfriend in 2018 at a Myrtle Beach area sports bar.

Travis Lee Taylor, 37, of Socastee, pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, which is a violent, serious offense that is not eligible for parole and carries a sentence from zero to 20 years, said Josh Holford, the senior assistant solicitor who prosecuted the case for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Taylor pleaded guilty without specific recommendation or a negotiation.

Circuit Judge Robert Hood presided over the hearing and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

In January 2018, Taylor argued with a woman he was dating and at Sunup Sports Bar and Grill, where she worked, he shot her once in the lower abdomen and fled the scene, Holford said. The shooting was captured on the bar’s video surveillance system. Taylor later called police and surrendered to officers. The victim recovered and appeared at Tuesday’s hearing to address the court.

“The Solicitor’s Office would like to thank Detective Jack Johnson, the Horry County Police Department, and the victim in this case, who over the past two years, ensured that justice was done,” Holford said.

Animal abuse brings jail time

A 31-year-old Myrtle Beach man pleaded guilty Tuesday to the abuse of a 9-month-old German Shepherd puppy and was sentenced to prison.

Christopher Sauber’s plea of ill-treatment of animals brought a sentence of five years in prison, suspended to 180 days in prison followed by three years probation, said Cara Walker, the assistant solicitor who prosecuted the case for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. The sentence also requires that Sauber continue mandatory treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

No negotiations were made as to the sentence by the Solicitor’s Office in this sentence, according to information provided by the Solicitor’s Office.

In June 2018, Myrtle Beach police found an emaciated 9-month-old German Shepherd puppy in a crate without water and covered in feces and urine, and with extreme injuries. The dog, later called Queen Sophie, had visible wounds with disease and infection. She was taken to the Grand Strand Humane Society where she was nursed back to health and adopted.

“A big thank you goes to the Myrtle Beach Police Department, specifically Officer Steven Trott, who appeared in court today (Tuesday) to advocate for Sophie, and to the Grand Strand Humane Society and everyone, who volunteered their time and resources to make sure Sophie was able to have a new lease on life,” Walker said. “Throughout this case, Officer Trott and I recognize the terrible things that happened to her. There is no excuse for inflicting harm on defenseless animals.”

Police want help finding suspect

Officers with the Conway Police Department responded to 612 Church St., Carolina Payday Loans in reference to an armed robbery Nov. 27.

The subject entered the business, presented a handgun and demanded money.

Detectives secured warrants for armed robbery for Antonio Xavier McCray in connection with this incident and also charging him with a previous armed robbery of the same business and an armed robbery of Upfront Loans at 610 Church St.

Anyone with any information about the location of the subject is asked to contact the Conway Police Department Investigations Division at (843) 248-1790. He should be considered armed and dangerous, according to information provided by police.

Suspect not identified

A Conway police report says Monday at about 8 p.m., someone knocked on the window of Carolina Title Loans while wearing a Spider-man mask, dark clothing and red Air Jordan shoes. He did not show a firearm and police don’t know if he tried to get into the business. The case was classified as an attempted robbery. The suspect was not identified on the report. The Horry County bloodhound team responded to the scene and tried to track the suspect, but didn’t find him.

Loris man killed in shooting

A 32-year-old man died and five others were injured in a shooting Saturday night in Loris, authorities said.

Myron Spain died from injuries he sustained in the incident, according to Horry County Deputy Coroner Patty Bellamy.

Loris Police Department Chief Gary Buley said the shooting happened on the 4300 block of Harrelson Avenue. Spain died on scene, he said.

The five others who were injured were taken to the hospital and are expected to survive the shooting. All but two of them had been released from the hospital at the time of the report.

Loris police and the state Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are investigating the case. SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby confirmed the state agency is investigating, but could not provide any further details.

Myrtle Beach man pleads guilty in club shooting

After his trial had been underway for two days, a Myrtle Beach man pleaded guilty in connection with a club shooting, according to information provided by the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Cleavon Oneal Dantzler, 36, pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature before Circuit Judge Steven H. John, said Josh Holford, the senior assistant solicitor, who along with Seth Oskin, an assistant solicitor, prosecuted the case.

Before testimony resumed Wednesday morning, Dantzler pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Holford agreed to dismiss other charges from the November 2016 shooting where five people were struck by bullets from Dantzler’s gun inside Club Pure Ultra at 803 Main St., Myrtle Beach.

The trial began Monday with jury selection and opening statements. On Tuesday, multiple witnesses testified and evidence was presented, including a surveillance video from the club that showed Dantzler, unprovoked, pulling a gun and firing multiple shots into the crowded club before he ran out the front door.

Based on the facts of the case, it appeared one person was the intended target and the four other people injured were innocent bystanders in the shooting.

Myrtle Beach police responded quickly to a chaotic scene, assessed the situation and deemed it safe for emergency personnel. There were more than 100 people in the club and authorities found that many did not see the shooting or were not able to identify the shooter or were unwilling to do so. It was diligent investigative work that resulted in Dantzler’s identification and arrest.

“Many times people are scared or find it difficult to point the finger at a person accused of a violent crime, and that was true in this case as well. The guilty plea brought this case to a positive resolution because Dantzler admitted he was responsible for the shooting inside the club,” Holford said. “Thanks go to Hugh Jones and the countless Myrtle Beach police officers and detectives for their dedication, and the brave victims and witnesses who were willing to tell what they heard and saw that night. Without all these people justice would not have been done.”

Student threat

Horry County police were notified after a Carolina Forest High School student was heard making a threat to another student on the school bus, according to an Horry County police report.

The student said, “Pull up to my house; you’ll get shot”, as he was leaving the bus recently.

The report says the suspect was identified as an aggressor and made an intentional threatening comment, possibly out of frustration.

The student was suspended from school pending completion of the school’s investigation.

Someone identified as Entity 2 was noted to own three weapons at the residence. They were turned over to police until the investigation is concluded.

He’s no snitch

A Loris area man told police he left his home on a recent night at about 9 p.m. and returned at about 11 p.m. when he noticed that his chair had been moved and a tree inside the house had fallen, according to an Horry County police report.

The man said he didn’t think much of what he saw until he realized that $1,250 of guns that he had on a shelf in his bedroom were gone.

He told police he had an idea who might have taken them, but wouldn’t tell them saying he didn’t want to be a snitch. He also told police that he couldn’t provide the serial numbers for any of the missing firearms.

No money was her excuse

A Galivants Ferry woman told an Horry County policeman who stopped her recently that she put a piece of notebook paper in the place where her license plate should have been because she was not able to pay the taxes on the vehicle and register the car.

The policeman says while he spoke with the woman he smelled the odor of marijuana. He searched the car and found a small amount of a leafy green substance.

She was charged with operating an unregistered vehicle.

Woman found dead

Horry County police were called recently to a Galivants Ferry residence where a man reported having found his girlfriend dead, according to an Horry County police report.

The man said the woman had been sleeping on the sofa due to a previous back injury.

When he got up the next morning he found her facedown on the floor by the sofa. He called her daughter and she called 911.

According to the report. Horry County Fire Rescue workers told police that they had responded to the house earlier that week to check on an overdose. They revived the woman using Narcan.

The Horry County police report says police noticed what might have been drug paraphernalia in the house.

Another possible overdose

A Conway area woman called Horry County police at about 11 p.m. on a recent night to report a possible overdose.

The Horry County police report says the woman, who is the sister of the victim, told police that when she heard something fall in the bathroom, she called her brother’s name twice without getting an answer.

She got a knife from the kitchen and opened the bathroom door where she found him unconscious. She told police his eyes were open, staring at her, but he was not speaking or moving. She noted that he was breathing.

The police report has redacted what emergency medical workers did, but the man was alert and speaking when a policeman arrived. The man did not want to go to the hospital.

He’s hungry

A Conway police report says Walmart officials called them when they spotted a young man walking around the U.S. 501 store opening packages of food and eating them.

The store manager told police he wanted to prosecute the young man.

He was charged with shoplifting and taken to jail on a charge of shoplifting under $2,000.

Store officials estimated their loss at about $75.

Alcohol/drug incidents

■ After a young Marion woman was stopped by police Sunday at about 2 a.m. in the area of Cultra Road and Church Street the policeman reported smelling alcohol. The Conway police report says the driver was unsteady on her feet and was slurring her speech.

She performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was taken in for a breath test, which she refused.

She was charged with driving under the influence, first offense.

■ An employee of B&B Theatres on Rivertown Boulevard in Conway called police when he found a Conway man that he thought was intoxicated and had an open alcoholic beverage beside him.

The Conway policeman says he found the man and woke him up. He said the man was slightly intoxicated and had an open alcoholic beverage in his cup holder beside the seat he was in.

The policeman then took the man to Walmart to get a backpack he had left there.

The Conway police report says the policeman checked the backpack and found a black JBI Bluetooth Porter speaker. He called a fellow officer in reference to a shoplifting complaint he had taken the day before. He then determined that the speaker was taken from Walmart the day before.

The policeman took the man to jail on charges of drinking in public and receiving stolen goods, less than $2,000. The speaker was returned to Walmart.

■ Conway police were called to a vehicle accident at about 2:15 a.m. Sunday morning at U.S. 501 and Four Mile Road where a car was in a ditch, according to a Conway police report.

A woman there told the policeman that she had been driving the vehicle, but a bystander and a male suspect from Marion told police that a man at the scene had been driving. The man told the policeman that he had pulled too far over and slid in the ditch.

The policeman says he smelled alcohol while he was speaking with the man and asked him to try field sobriety tests. When he performed poorly on those tests, the policeman took him in for a breath test.

He registered .17 and was charged with driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration and was taken to jail.

■ Conway police were called Friday at about 8 p.m. to check on a man walking in the road, according to a Conway police report.

Police then found the man lying in a driveway in front of a car.

The police report says the person who notified police told them that the suspect had physically fought someone, and the policeman reported seeing blood on his hands.

The man did not follow the policeman’s instruction when the policeman told him to stand up. When they got him up they decided that he was highly intoxicated.

They say during the investigation, they learned that the man had been shouting profanities. He was charged with disorderly conduct and taken to jail.

■ A Conway man was charged with being under the influence of narcotics in the city limits after police and emergency medical workers were called to the Food Lion on Fourth Avenue, according to a Conway police report.

Emergency medical workers told police they found the man unconscious in the store’s parking lot, pulled him out of the driver’s seat and administered Narcan. When they gave him a sternum rub he began to talk and was about to stand.

The medics noted that the man had been unresponsive, was having trouble breathing and he had pinpoint pupils.

The man did not want to go to a hospital; however, police took him there to be cleared for jail.

Leaving the scene

Conway police were called at about 7:30 p.m. on a recent evening to investigate a collision at the intersection of Church Street and Tenth Avenue where they found possible injuries and a missing driver who, they believe, was at fault. There were three people listed as victims in the collision.

Slightly after the car was towed, the driver walked up. He told police he was driving the vehicle and had left the scene, according to the police report. The Aynor man was charged with hit and run - leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license.

The owner of the vehicle told police she had last seen her vehicle about 12 hours earlier when the suspect left in it.

Vehicle incidents

■ A Conway man told police that he thinks someone took a backpack holding a computer from his vehicle back in November while it was parked at a friend’s house on West Road, but he didn’t realize it was gone until this past week, according to an Horry County police report. Horry County police closed the case when the man didn’t provide the necessary information on the missing computer.

■ Someone reported a vehicle in the area of U.S. 701 and S.C. 22 in the Conway section that was “all over the road” and had almost run into a ditch several times, according to an Horry County police report.

At about 15 minutes after midnight Saturday, the vehicle turned into the parking lot of the 701 Shop on U.S. 701 at Adrian Highway. The vehicle was leaving the parking lot when a policeman tried to get the Longs driver to stop.

The report says the driver headed toward Loris on U.S. 701 reaching speeds of more than 90 mph.

A policeman was able to successfully deploy Stop Sticks on U.S 701 at the city limits of Loris and on U.S. 701 just inside the city limits of Loris.

The driver continued through some side streets of Loris including Railroad Avenue, Casey Street, Bayboro Street and ending on Main Street at Railroad Avenue.

Two people got out of the car. Police say the driver’s license was suspended and the female passenger was wanted with full extradition by the U.S. Marshals Office. They were both taken to jail.

■ A Myrtle Beach woman told Conway police that while she and her husband were eating supper at the Rivertown Bistro Friday at about 6:30 p.m., they left their car parked in Scarborough Alley.

She told police the vehicle was locked and it has tinted windows so it’s difficult to see inside.

When they returned to their vehicle at about 8 p.m., they headed home before realizing that a small rear window had been smashed and the woman’s purse was gone.

She said she left her purse on the floor behind the driver’s seat and the car was locked.

Missing items included the woman’s wallet, two debit cards, a credit card, driver’s license, Social Security card and miscellaneous photos. Her cellphone was also missing.

■ A Conway woman told police that she parked her vehicle at the Conway Dog Park on New Road at about 2 p.m. Sunday and when she returned at 4 p.m. her vehicle was gone, according to a Conway police report.

She said the car was locked, but she had left a spare key inside. The car was listed on a national crime computer network.

■ Someone found a 2018 Nissan Altima at 701 Church St. Friday at about 9 p.m. The car had been reported stolen in Gastonia, N.C. It was turned over to the registered owner.

■ A woman told police her vehicle had been broken into on Aaron Street, according to a Conway police report.

She said the vehicle was locked. A brown wallet holding $430 in cash had been gone through and the money was missing. The culprit left behind her driver’s license, credit card, debit card and Social Security card.

She said a family member had driven the car the night before and it’s possible she didn’t lock it when she got back.

■ A resident of Brownsway Shortcut told police this past week that he had last seen his gun that was in his glove box three weeks earlier, but he had just realized that day that it was gone. The gun was listed on a national crime computer network.

■ An Aynor area man told Horry County police that when he went to his car on a recent morning he saw that someone had broken out the window, according to an Horry County police report.

Police believe the culprit used a pry tool of some sort to hit the window. His center console was open and had been gone through, but nothing was taken.

■ Someone went into an Horry County Government-owned car recently while it was parked at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, according to an Horry County police report.

The driver’s wallet clip, holding his driver’s license, concealed weapons permit, county credit card, capital one credit card, Sheriff’s Office ID and a magistrate’s ID, were missing.

He told police that at 5:30 a.m., he received a call from the Walmart loss prevention asking if it was okay to let someone use his credit card for a $180 purchase.

The Walmart employee told police she would look into getting a video of the transaction.

A gun was also missing.

Drug overdose

Horry County police were called to a residence in the Conway section to check on a possible overdose. The Horry County police report says a person on the scene told police he had last seen the victim between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Two people there knocked on the man’s bedroom door at 3 a.m. and again at 4 a.m. When the man didn’t answer the second time, they forced the bedroom door open and found the man unresponsive on the floor beside the bed with a syringe on the floor near his feet. Emergency medical workers had responded and were still there when police arrived. They told police the man was dead. An investigation was begun, but there was no more information when this Horry County police report was made.

Stress upsets Nichols man

A couple living with a Nichols man, trying to help him, told Horry County police that the man pointed a handgun at them, according to an Horry County police report.

After the man pointed the gun at the woman, she and the other resident took the ammunition clip out of the gun. The man said he knew when the suspect pointed the gun at him that it was not loaded.

The policeman says he found the suspect on the porch where he told the policeman he had gotten into an argument with his roomers because they don’t work and don’t pay him anything.

He said he was tired of them using him.

He also became angry when he learned that they had taken the magazine out of his gun and admitted to the policeman that he had been drinking.

The suspect told the policeman that his wife died a while back and he is under a lot of stress finding it hard to take care of himself, and the couple he pointed the gun at were helping him.

The male roomer said he didn’t want the man to go to jail, but he thought he needed help.

The woman agreed.

The woman didn’t want to press charges against the man.

She agreed for the policeman to take the man to a hospital, and the suspect agreed to go so he could talk with someone about his stress.

Horry County Fire Rescue transported him, but the report has redacted where they took him.

About an hour later, a friend of the female roomer called police saying her friend was upset because the hospital had called and the suspect was ready to be picked up. She then told the policeman that the victim wanted to talk with him about pressing charges, but she was on the way to get the man. The policeman asked that she call him back when she got home if she still wanted to press charges, but she had not called him by the time the report was written. The case was closed, according to the police report.

Appliances stolen

A resident of Sunny Heights Road told police that sometime over Saturday night to Sunday morning, someone went into the Longs residence and took a washer and dryer. They were valued at about $275 each.

The Horry County police report says hoses and electrical connections had been removed. The police report said nothing else appeared to be disturbed in the house, and the front door was still locked.

The policeman reported that there had been forced entry into a locked rear door. Because the victim stays in the house, police classified the case as a first-degree burglary.

Trespassing and more

Conway police found a Conway man sitting at a table at McDonald’s Saturday at about 6 p.m. when a manager told them that the man had refused to leave, according to a Conway police report.

The man told police it was cold outside and asked if he could go to jail. They handcuffed him, charged him with trespassing and took him to jail.

The next day at about 5 p.m., police were called back to McDonald’s where the man was being accused of exposing himself.

A Conway woman told police that she and a friend had been sitting in the McDonald’s parking lot when the suspect came out, exposed himself and touched himself improperly. A man inside the vehicle got out, told the man to leave and contacted the McDonald’s manager.

The Conway police report says police found the man in the bathroom in Kentucky Fried Chicken. He was taken to jail where he was charged with indecent exposure.

Bitten on the calf

A resident of Glasshill Drive told police that while he was working on his boat Saturday at about 11 a.m., a neighbor came over to give him some wax. He told Conway police that he saw the neighbor’s dog walk around the boat and bite a child on his calf.

The policeman said the child had two puncture marks on the back of his right calf.

The parents of the child did not want to call emergency medical workers, saying they would have a nurse look at the bite.

The policeman wrote the dog’s owner a citation for having a dangerous animal.

Weapon violation

A Conway area woman told police that a male friend came to her house where he started a physical fight, according to an Horry County police report.

She said the man shot one round into the air behind her as she was leaving.

She said when she turned around, the man pointed the gun at her head and threatened her.


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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