Federal lawsuit filed by Horry County man paralyzed in drug raid put on hold

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A federal lawsuit filed by a man paralyzed after a Horry County drug raid has been temporarily put on hold.

Attorneys for the defendants, which include the 15th Circuit Solicitor, Jimmy Richardson, asked the judge to stay the case until plaintiff Julian Betton’s criminal charges are resolved. US Magistrate Judge Kaymani West agreed to the order to stay Wednesday.

Richardson decided last year to let the Attorney General’s office handle the criminal charges because Betton was suing local authorities.

The incident happened around 3:10 p.m. April 16, 2015, on Withers Swash Drive and involved an assembled team of at least 12 heavily armed agents sent to execute a drug charge and search warrants, according to a complaint filed by Betton’s attorney.

Betton was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana after police found drugs in his home during the raid. The federal lawsuit says plainclothes officers, who weren’t identified as police, burst through his door before they shot him. Betton says poor execution of that warrant led to a shooting that put him in a coma for six weeks and left him paralyzed from the waist down.

The original complaint from Betton’s attorney claims police shot 57 bullets, 9 of which hit Betton.