NORTH MYRTLE BEACH (WMBF) During a court appearance on Monday, former Myrtle Beach Police Officer Larry Hardee pleaded guilty to felony DUI charges.
WMBF News cameras were rolling when former officer Larry Hardee stepped into the courtroom Monday morning. Hardee pleaded guilty to his felony DUI charge.
The judge accepted his plea, and his lawyer addressed the judge saying his client is taking responsibility for his actions.
Hardee was sentenced to eight years in prison.
During Hardee's bond hearing in June 2011, his attorney argued that his client was not a flight risk.
Attorney Ralph Wilson noted Hardee's age, his numerous years of service in law enforcement and military, in addition to his local family ties as reasons his client should be eligible for bond.
Judge Blake Martin cited Hardee's clean criminal record and residency in North Myrtle Beach as reasoning to issue a $20,000 bond. Judge Martin added that Hardee's history in law enforcement had no play in issuing the bond.
According to North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Patrick Dowling, Hardee was released from jail following the hearing on the $20,000 bond.
Dowling also confirmed that 62-year-old Larry Hardee was charged with felony DUI after allegedly crashing into a motorcyclist; however, his BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) at the time of the crash is currently unknown because of Hardee's refusal to take the breathalyzer test. Hardee's blood was taken at a local hospital and was sent off for testing.
The fatal crash occurred in May 2011 in North Myrtle Beach at the intersection of Sea Mountain Highway and Hill Street, resulting in the second biker death of this year's spring rally.
The Horry County Coroner's office confirmed Tuesday evening that the victim of the crash is 49-year-old Rocky Laine Huneycutt from North Carolina. Huneycutt died from head and chest injuries at Seacoast Medical Center in Little River.
J. Reuben Long Detention Center's website lists Hardee's charges as failure to yield right of way, and felony driving under the influence, death results.
Hardee served as a police lieutenant with the the Myrtle Beach Police Department from July 1975 through June 1996 when he then retired. He is a resident of North Myrtle Beach.
Additionally, Keith Acree with the NC Department of Corrections said the victim, Huneycutt, was a corrections officer for the NCDOC'S facility in Albemarle. According to Acree, Huneycutt left Albemarle Tuesday on a planned trip to Myrtle Beach.
Huneycutt's sister, Lisa Love, said her brother and some friends were heading to the area for Bike Week. Their wives were to join them over the weekend.
Love says the family is obviously distraught.
"He has lots of friends, he's just a very outgoing person. He'd give you the shirt off his back and he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.
Huneycutt's death comes just a day after the death of 54-year-old Robert Wayne Dew, who died in a motorcycle crash Monday evening on Highway 9 in Loris.