Jury selection set for lawsuit by man paralyzed during Myrtle Beach drug raid

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Jury selection for a man suing the City of Myrtle Beach and a police officer after being shot and paralyzed by drug enforcement officers will begin in January.

Julian Betton was hit nine times by officers who fired 57 shots at him during a raid of his Myrtle Beach home in April 2015, according to the lawsuit. Betton settled with the DEU task force, the 15th Circuit Court solicitor and other parties for $2.75 million in 2018.

However, Betton’s claims against the City of Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach officer David Belue haven’t been settled. A scheduling order filed last week by a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for South Carolina calls for jury selection and/or trial on or after Jan. 8.

A SLED investigation found Betton pointed his gun at officers, but he didn’t fire the gun. According to the lawsuit, plainclothes officers were not identified as police when they burst through his door.

The federal case revealed changing stories from the police. Initially, most of the agents told SLED investigators they had knocked on Betton’s door, as required by the search warrant, before entering his home. But surveillance video, showing officers quickly ramming Betton’s door, appeared to contradict the story from the police.

Enforcement agents claimed worries about safety because, they said, Betton was known to carry a weapon with him.

The parties who settled with Betton for $2.75 million include DEU commander Bill Knowles, Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, DEU deputy commander Dean Bishop, Coastal Carolina police officers Chad Guess and Frank Waddell, and Horry County sheriff’s deputy Chris Dennis, according to Betton’s attorney.

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