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Man convicted in Horry County bingo hall shooting sentenced to life in prison

Derrick Rivera
Derrick Rivera(Source: JRLDC/Gray TV)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 3:25 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The man convicted of killing a father and son during an armed robbery at an Horry County bingo hall has now been sentenced.

The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office said Judge Benjamin H. Culbertson sentenced Derrick Rivera to two life sentences for two murder convictions along with an additional 30 years for an armed robbery conviction. Those sentences will run concurrently.

The prosecution argued Rivera had convinced co-defendant Bradford Britton to drive him to the Waccamaw Bingo off Highway 501 on the night of July 26, 2019. The two circled around the area before Britton dropped Rivera off in front of a nearby business. Rivera was wearing a hat with fake dreadlocks, sweatclothes and a mask when he shot and killed Steve Johnson, Sr., and Steve “Sparky” Johnson, Jr.

The Johnsons owned Waccamaw Bingo Hall.

“The evidence was clear that the driver was not involved in the killings, but facilitated transportation away from the armed robbery,” said Scott Hixson, the case’s prosecutor from the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. “More than 100 pieces of evidence including DNA and cellphone records, which were the lion’s share of evidence, proved the guilt of the defendant in this case. This was a family-owned business that was beloved by the community. It’s a true tragedy to see a father and son killed in one night during a senseless act of violence. It was truly impressive to see the number of law enforcement agencies come together as they did to seek justice for this family.”

According to our news partners, MyHorryNews, prosecutors argued during the trial that Rivera fled the scene after the shooting and left behind the hat, a shoe and a bag - all of which contained his DNA.

Britton had pled guilty to armed robbery and accessory after the fact to murder earlier this week, but he has not been sentenced.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.

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