MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A settlement has been reached in the case of a Myrtle Beach man left paralyzed after being shot nine times by Drug Enforcement Unit officers in 2015, according to court documents.
Jury selection was set to begin Jan. 8 in the civil lawsuit filed by Julian Betton against the city of Myrtle Beach and officer David Belue.
An order of dismissal was filed Jan. 2 in the U.S. District Court in Florence after the court was advised by counsel for the parties that a settlement had been reached.
“It is ordered that this action is hereby dismissed without costs and without prejudice,” the order states. “If settlement is not consummated within 60 days, any party may petition the Court to reopen this action and restore it to the calendar.”
Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea said the insurance company representing the city’s interests made the decision to settle the case.
“Details of that agreement are being negotiated and will be finalized in coming weeks,” Kruea said.
Betton sued the city and Belue, alleging unlawful entry and the use of excessive force in the April 16, 2015 raid.
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.
In March 2018, 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 were the only remaining defendants.