MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A settlement has been reached with many of the defendants in the federal lawsuit filed by a man who was shot nine times and left paralyzed from the waist down by law enforcement officers who stormed his home in April 2015 while serving a narcotics warrant, according to the man's attorney.
Julian Ray Betton will be paid $2.75 million for claims against members 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) task force, the 15th Circuit Solicitor, and other individuals involved in the drug raid on Betton's Myrtle Beach home, according to his attorney Jonny McCoy. The amount will be paid out in a lump sum by the state's Insurance Reserve Fund.
The stipulation of dismissal, filed Tuesday, dismisses claims against DEU Commander Bill Knowles, DEU Deputy Commander Dean Bishop, Chad Guess, a DEU agent and the leader of the raid on Betton's home, 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, Frank Waddell with Coastal Carolina University Police, and Chris Dennis with the Horry County Police Department.
Court documents stated Myrtle Beach was named in Betton's lawsuit because it authorized the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit to "enforce drug laws within its municipal boundaries" and "contributed its employees to the DEU to assist the DEU in enforcing drug laws within its municipal boundaries."
Betton was paralyzed as a result of an April 2015 drug bust. He had been facing three charges of pointing and presenting a firearm and two charges of possession of drugs with intent to distribute, according to court records.
In March 2017, all gun charges against Betton were dropped, and he pleaded guilty to selling $100 worth of marijuana one time to a friend.
Originally, officers told the solicitor that Betton shot back, but the same report that cleared the officers from charges also found that Betton hadn't fired any weapons.