Former SC deputies to face involuntary manslaughter charges after mental health patients drowned in transport van

Former Horry County deputies will face involuntary manslaughter charges after mental health patients drowned in transport van

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The two Horry County Sheriff’s Office deputies who drove around a flood barrier resulting in the deaths of two mental health patients are facing charges.

On Thursday, 12th Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements said his office is getting arrest warrants for fired HCSO Corrections Officers Stephen Flood and Joshua Bishop.

Clements said Flood will face charges of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter and Bishop will face an involuntary manslaughter charge.

The incident happened on September 18 when Flood and Bishop were transporting Wendy Newton, 45 of Shallotte, NC, and Nicolette Green, 43, of Myrtle Beach from a hospital in Horry County to medical facilities in Florence and Darlington.

“We’re looking at it as a step in the right direction,” said Donnela Green-Johnson, Green’s sister. “I wish that there would be stronger charges available, but there aren’t in the state. Not that fit this criteria.”

There will be a bond hearing for both men Friday at the Marion County Detention Center at 9 a.m.

“We had to go through Thanksgiving, Christmas, my sister’s birthday, new year’s with no closure, no justice, nothing," Green-Johnson said. “And they were at home with their families. That was difficult. I want to see them. But then there’s a part of me that just – I don’t know. I think I’ve been pretty strong through all this. I’m scared that that’ll be my breaking point when I actually come face to face with them.”

Nicolette Green (left) and Wendy Newton drowned September 18, 2018 in the back of an Horry County Sheriff's Office transport van. (Source: Green and Newton families)
Nicolette Green (left) and Wendy Newton drowned September 18, 2018 in the back of an Horry County Sheriff's Office transport van. (Source: Green and Newton families)

Discipline reports for the Sept. 18 incident stated Flood made a “conscious decision” when he drove the transport van into flood waters.

The reports state the other officer riding in the van, Bishop, “failed to make a conscious and conspicuous effort” to stop Flood from driving into the waters.

Additionally, the reports state the officers “failed to take appropriate action” and violated the detention center’s rules of conduct.

Under the employee’s response section of the report, Flood hand wrote, “the facts in this report are not true” and signed it SWF.

“That would seem like a little bit more justice than more months of them just out living their lives," Green-Johnson said. "Nikki and Wendy don’t have that courtesy. Why should they?”

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