MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The case of a Myrtle Beach man left paralyzed after being shot nine times by Drug Enforcement Unit officers in 2015 is set to go before a jury after the first of the year.
According to a scheduling order filed Dec. 3 in the U.S. District Court in Florence, jury selection is set to begin Jan. 8, 2020 in the civil lawsuit filed by Julian Betton against the city of Myrtle Beach and officer David Belue.
The scheduling order gave both sides to Dec. 10 to file and exchange all pretrial disclosures. The parties were also ordered to furnish the court with pretrial briefs seven days prior to the start of jury selection.
“This case is subject to being called for jury selection and/or trial on or after January 8, 2020,” the order stated.
Betton sued the city and Belue, alleging unlawful entry and the use of excessive force in the April 16, 2015 raid.
A warrant was obtained to enter Betton’s home with a “knock and announce” procedure after a confidential informant bought marijuana from the plaintiff, according to court documents.
Eleven officers went to Betton’s home, but court documents state they did not identify themselves.
According to court records, Betton stated that he was a step away from the living room where officers made forced entry and that he held a gun down by his hip but didn’t pull it up. At that point, three officers, including Belue, fired 29 shots, with nine of them hitting the plaintiff, documents state.
Belue argues in court documents that firing his weapon was not excessive force because Betton posed a threat by drawing his gun.
Betton was left paralyzed as a result of the raid. He had been facing three charges of pointing and presenting a firearm and two charges of drugs with intent to distribute.
In March 2017, all weapons charges against Betton were dropped, and he pleaded guilty to selling $100 worth marijuana one time to a friend.
Last March, a $2.75 million settlement was reached between Betton and members of the DEU task force, the 15th Circuit Solicitor and other individuals involved in the raid.
The city of Myrtle Beach and Belue are the only remaining defendants in the case.