Continuance granted in death case of Florence officer

Officer Matthew Clayton (Source: Florence Police Department)
Officer Matthew Clayton (Source: Florence Police Department)
Brady Johnson (Source: Florence County Detention Center)
Brady Johnson (Source: Florence County Detention Center)

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A judge has ordered a continuance in the trial of an Effingham man accused of shooting a Florence police officer to death at his home in February.

Paperwork filed on July 6 in U.S. District Court in Florence reveals a judge made an oral motion to continue the trial of 22-year-old Brady Johnson until the court's next scheduled term. The case is expected to be tried by Horry County Solicitor Greg Hembree.

Johnson is charged with voluntary manslaughter and a federal weapons charge after investigators with the Florence County Sheriff's Office alleged he shot and killed Matthew H. Clayton, 29, at his home on Cross Vines Road.

Officers with the Florence County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to Clayton's home at 11 p.m. on Feb. 19 to follow-up on reports of a shooting. 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.

Deputies said Clayton died inside of his home from a single gunshot wound to his back. Investigators allege a Mossberg shotgun, in possession of Johnson at the time of the incident, was discharged while it was pointed towards Clayton's back.

Florence County Coroner Bubba Matthews later confirmed a bullet to Clayton's back ultimately killed the officer.

Johnson was arrested by the Florence County Sheriff's Office and charged with voluntary manslaughter and a federal weapons charge. Prior records reveal Johnson has had previous felony convictions.

Clayton was a three-year veteran of the Florence Police Department.

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