Horry County Solicitor's Office works through old cases

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The Horry County Solicitor's Office is working through several cases to move people through the justice system.

About nineteen cases that ranged from six to eighteen months old were heard by a judge on Monday.

Fourteen people pleaded guilty, three are scheduled to plead later in the week, and one case has been continued. The Solicitor's Office said one case will be on trial next week. Horry County Solicitor Greg Hembree said this special court term was recently called because a judge was available to hear the cases.

Hembree stated, "He was scheduled in civil court but they didn't need him so switched him last minute to criminal court. That gave us the opportunity to move cases we didn't expect to move."

Certain types of cases are being moved through the system including DUI's, burglary and shoplifting.

Hembree added, "We do have some assault cases as well that have victims but primarily drug cases."

Hembree stated that it could be helping save taxpayer money.

Hembree stated, "Trying to save money. If they're put in prison, those are paid for with state tax dollars which tax payers are still paying it, but it is spread around the whole state. So try to get them moved either go to prison moved quickly there or if probation or other sentence to move them into that."

Defense attorneys said they are glad for the chance to represent their clients. Case Brittain said, "The Solicitor's Office and judges have done a good job of getting cases moved which is something every person is entitled to-speedy trial and resolution of the case. Very pleased to have it done already."

Some attorneys said working through this large number of cases gives their clients a fair chance to either plea or go on trial. Brittain added, "It is fair. She was in unfortunate situation so she is looking up to a year. Fortunately for us we worked it down to minimum time and minimum fine."

Most said getting through this many cases benefits everyone involved.

Hembree said, "People want closure on cases. They would like to have it resolved and the defendants who commit need to move on and serve their consequences for actions and then it's over and they can move on with their lives."

The Solicitor's Office expects the judge to hear about fifteen to twenty cases on Tuesday and as many cases as possible throughout the week.

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