News and Announcements

Public news and announcements are brought to you by the Horry County Public Information Office.

Horry County News and Announcements


Former Horry County Teacher Sentenced to Ten Years on Sexual Exploitation Charges

Conway, South Carolina– Shane Watson, a former high school teacher with the Horry County School District, pled guilty today, Tuesday October 15, 2013, before the Honorable Edward B. Cottingham to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Third Degree and one count of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.    

Judge Cottingham sentenced Watson to ten years on each Sexual Exploitation charge and three years on the Contributing to the Delinquency charge.  These sentences will run concurrently with each other.  Additionally, once released from incarceration, Watson will be required to register as a Sex Offender for the remainder of his natural life.   

These charges stem from late 2012 when Watson, at that time still a teacher with Horry County Schools, posed as a teenage girl on both the internet and in text messages.  Watson used this false identity to communicate with, and solicit sexually explicit photos from, several thirteen to fourteen year-old boys.   Watson was apprehended by law enforcement when the parents of one of the teenage boys became suspicious of text messages being sent to his son.  An investigation led by Fifteenth Circuit Criminal Investigator Ginger Pop discovered that Watson was the source of these text messages.  A subsequent search of Watson’s phone and computer uncovered several images known to be child pornography.   

For more information, please contact Assistant Solicitor Martin Spratlin at (843) 915-5460.  

Local 20-Year Old Convicted of First Degree Burglary

Conway, South Carolina-Last Tuesday, October 8, 2013, before the Honorable Steven H. John in Horry County General Sessions Court, a jury found Defendant Zachary Braxton Bullock (20 years of age) guilty of First Degree Burglary.  The State was represented by Fifteenth Circuit Assistant Solicitor, J. Stephen Grooms.   

Bullock committed this offense with two accomplices on January 12, 2012 in the Forestbrook section of Horry County.  While one accomplice waited outside in the getaway car, Bullock and another accomplice forcibly entered the victim’s residence without the owner’s consent and stole several valuable personal items, including a .45 caliber pistol.  Thereafter, the perpetrators returned to the car they arrived in and did flee the scene.      

On January 17, 2012 all three defendants were arrested together and charged with Burglary 2nd degree of a residence in Carolina Forest. During this incident neighbors were able to call in a description of the vehicle and the defendants were taken into custody by HCPD as they fled the area.   

Through police investigation led by Detective Scott Bogart and the testimony of two cooperating co-defendants, police did charge Bullock with numerous other burglaries in Horry County since December 2011.  According to testimony by the codefendants Bullock not only led the commission of these crimes, but he also selected the homes that he and his accomplices were going to steal from. Several of these residences involved victims with some connection to Bullock’s parents.    

Detective Bogart’s investigation led police to charge Bullock with two counts of First Degree Burglary, two counts of Second Degree Burglary, three counts of Breaking and Entering a House with the Intent to Steal (Housebreaking), one count of Grand Larceny (value of stolen items greater than $2,000.00 but less than $10,000.00), one count of Possession of Tools Capable of Being Used in a Crime, and one count of Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent (value greater than $2,000.00 but less than $10,000.00).  Only one count of Burglary in the First Degree was called to trial.    

Following his conviction last Tuesday, Bullock was sentenced to 15 years.  First Degree Burglary is a “violent” and “most serious” offense.  That means Bullock must be incarcerated for 85% of his sentence before he has any possibility of parole or release.  Additionally, if Bullock is ever convicted of another “most serious” offense, the State may seek, after appropriate notice, a sentence of life without the option of parole.     

For more information, please contact Assistant Solicitor Grooms at (843) 915-5460.

Weekly Update for October 14 - October 18, 2013

Click HERE for a PDF of Horry County Government's Weekly meetings and events for October 7 - October 11, 2013.

Surfside Library to Close for Inventory

Conway, South Carolina –The Surfside Beach branch of the Horry County Memorial Library System will close Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25, 2013, in order to complete a thorough inventory of the library’s collection. 

In addition, the Loris branch of the Horry County Memorial Library System will close Saturday, October 19, 2013, for the Loris Bog Off.   

For more information, please contact the Horry County Memorial Library Administration Office at 843-248-1548.

Road Dedication for Fallen Officer to Take Place

A road dedication and sign unveiling will take place early next week dedicated in honor of the first Horry County Police Officer who died in the line of duty.   

Horry County Police Lieutenant John Ronald Floyd was killed in a motor vehicle accident on June 25, 1986, while responding to a late night prowler call in the Green Sea section of Horry County.  In May of 2013, a resolution was passed in the South Carolina House of Representatives naming the intersection juncture of South Carolina Highways 9 and 410 in Horry County the “Lieutenant John Ronald Floyd Intersection.”   

On Monday, October 14, 2013, at 10:00am, a dedication ceremony and sign unveiling will take place on Highway 410 just north of Highway 9 in the Green Sea section of Horry County.  Family members, co-workers, Horry County Sheriff Philip Thompson and Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes will speak at the dedication.  This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to come as we remember this courageous Officer.