Horry County police charge Conway man who led officers on chase

troot@thesunnews.comJanuary 11, 2013 

— A 31-year-old Conway man is charged with robbery and failing to stop for police after he led officers in a chase in the Conway area, but he will not have to face a separate charge that was pending against him in a 2010 slaying, according to authorities.

Police on Friday charged George Everette Gray with resisting arrest, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, third or subsequent offense of driving under suspension not from driving under the influence and second-offense failure to stop for a blue light, according to records at J. Reuben Long Detention Center. Gray was being held on $172,000 bail.

A the time of his arrest Horry County’s public index indicated that a murder charge also was pending against Gray, but Senior Assistant 15th Circuit Solicitor Brad Richardson said Friday that the murder charge against Gray is in the process of being dropped.

The resisting arrest and failure to stop charges stem from Thursday when Horry County police detectives tried to get Gray to stop after they saw him get into a vehicle at the Wilco Hess station on U.S. 378 in Conway, Sgt. Robert Kegler said. Detectives pursued Gray and other officers in marked police vehicles also tried to stop the vehicle, a green Ford Taurus.

Gray drove along Liz Lane where he lost control the vehicle and crashed, Kegler said. Gray then ran from, but police caught him about 100 yards into a nearby wooded area.

Gray was taken to a local hospital after police learned he swallowed drugs during the chase, Kegler said. Gray was treated and released from the hospital and later booked at the detention center.

He is charged with robbery related to a Dec. 31 incident where police were called after two men reported they were forced to stop in the road and then were robbed at gunpoint of cash and cell phones, according to an Horry County police report. Courtney Sue Braddock, 32, was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Dec. 31 on a charge of armed robbery in that incident, according to authorities.

Horry County police linked Gray to the incident and filed charges against him.

The victims, a 32-year-old man and 26-year-old man, told police they were driving along West Homewood Road when they were forced to pull into a field by some people who were blocking the roadway, according to the report. The victims said three men and Braddock came up to each side of the vehicle and robbed them.

The driver told police he was choked by one of the men and had a gun held to the back of his head while the passenger was pulled from the vehicle and had a gun held to his back, according to the report. The victims said Braddock collected their wallets and cell phones and they fought with the male suspects, who tried to take their watches and jewelry.

Police tracked down Braddock after tracing one of the men’s cell phone.

An Horry County grand jury indicted Gray and six other people in connection with the shooting death of 28-year-ols Sylvester Smart, who died at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center after he was shot about 2 a.m. Aug. 21, 2010, in the Strand Village mobile home park.

Gray was one of 14 people charged in the killing. Richardson said charges against the other 13 also are being dropped.

“There's not sufficient evidence for [the murder case] to go to trial,” he said. “If we develop further evidence in the future we can reindict.”

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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