Loris killer sentenced to 22 years in prison

Gary Batton


By DEUCE NIVEN

    A guilty plea in an August 2015 shooting death in Loris will send a man to prison for 22 years, Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson announced last Wednesday.
    Gary Batton, 37, of Loris, entered the guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter before Circuit Court Judge Larry Hyman in Conway. Judge Hyman handed down the sentence, with Batton no elibile for parole on the conviction.
    Alvin Jamar Johnson, 35, died following the Aug. 23, 2015 shooting on Maple and Broad streets, during the church hour on that Sunday morning.
    Senior assistant solicitor Lauree Richardson and assistant solicitor Chris Helms prosecuted the case.
    “We appreciate the quick response and hard work by officers with the Loris and Horry County police departments in this case,” Richardson said. “They have brought justice to the victim’s family.”

Suspect ran
    Loris police officers responding to the shooting report that morning found nothing, but were soon summoned to McLeod Loris hospital, where Johnson had been taken and was pronounced dead.
    Johnson was shot once in the chest, killing him, and suffered less serious wounds to his lower body, Horry County Deputy Corner Tony Hendrick said at the time.
    A man who identified himself as Batton’s brother came to the hospital, and identified Johnson, an Horry County Police Department report said.
    Police found Johnson at Tall Pines Apartments, and took him into custody following a brief foot chase.
    Johnson’s 9-year-old witnessed the shooting, and also identified Batton as the man who shot his father.

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