Accused cop killer facing federal charges

Officer Matthew H. Clayton (Source: Florence Police Department)
Officer Matthew H. Clayton (Source: Florence Police Department)

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - A man accused of killing a Florence Police officer in February now faces federal charges in connection with the crime.

Brady Alan Johnson, 23, of Effingham, is charged in a federal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin F. McDonald announced the charges Monday.

In a Tuesday afternoon federal hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rose Mary Parham says Johnson waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which would require the prosecution to show probable cause for the crime committed. Johnson also waived his right to a detention hearing, in which bond would be set.

Johnson remains in federal custody, but can make a motion for bond at a later date.

Johnson is accused of shooting and killing Matthew H. Clayton on Feb. 19 with a Mossberg shotgun. He was charged in Florence County with voluntary manslaughter. Federal charges were filed to ensure Johnson faces the additional penalty for violating federal firearms laws, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Rose Mary Parham.

Capt. Michael Nunn of the Florence County Sheriff's Office says Clayton, 29, died Feb. 19 in his home on Cross Vines Road in Florence. According to investigators, a gun discharged while Johnson was pointing it at Clayton's back, resulting in his death.

Investigators were called to Clayton's home at the request of the Florence Police Department around 11 p.m. Although the incident occurred within Florence city limits, the Florence County Sheriff's Office was asked to run the investigation due to the city department's connection to the victim.

Clayton was employed with the Florence Police Department for approximately three years.

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