Pawleys Island man charged in connection to recent Mt. Gilead burglaries

Pawleys Island man charged in connection to recent Mt. Gilead burglaries

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Bond was denied Thursday to man police said was connected to a series of recent burglaries that occurred in the Murrells Inlet area, some of them specifically in the Mt. Gilead Community.

Michael Christian Lee, age 27, of Pawleys Island, is charged with three counts of first degree burglary, two counts of second degree burglary, three counts of obtaining goods under false pretenses and two narcotics violations, according to a release from Lt. Raul Denis, Horry County Police Department PIO.

Detectives and officers with the Horry County Police Department arrested Lee on Tuesday, September 15 after extensive investigations, the report states.

The police report shows the various items stolen, such as jewelry and guns, were valued over $28,850.

One woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was on her porch Sunday when she got a call that a neighbor's security camera picked up some suspicious activity in his house. She went inside her own home to put on shoes when she said she came face to face with Lee, who was standing in her kitchen.

"He just replied that he was a handyman and I kept asking him how he got in the house," she said.

She said that's when Lee lunged at her with a screwdriver, nearly stabbing her.

"I really thought I was going to be taking my last breath," the woman said.

The woman and other burglary victims attended Lee's bond hearing Thursday. They pleaded with the judge to deny his bond because they fear for their safety.

"A lot of things fall through the cracks," the woman said. "I really hope that the judge considers him a violent offender as Sunday could've been my last day living."

Lee had in J. Reuben Long Detention Center last Thursday, September 10, for obtaining property under false pretenses, but was released the same day. He was in jail once in June and once in July for drug possession. He was arrested again in August for grand larceny and drug possession.

He bonded out in all of those cases. 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said the majority of those were personal recognizance bonds, which means Lee didn't have to pay 10% of the bond. He instead was able to sign himself out with a promise to be in court or face a fine.

"Once you've been arrested two, three, four times in a very short period of time, at some point, there should be an a surety bond or no bond at all," Richardson said.

The solicitor's office sent a prosecutor to Thursday's bond hearing. He brought up the charges and conveyed to the judge why the solicitor's office thinks Lee is a danger to the community.

Lee asked the judge to grant him bond, so he could continue treatment for drug addiction at a methadone clinic. Ultimately, his bond was denied.

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